The Branch site/PoP site administration always had its own contentious points on its RoI and efficiency. So far there was no inherent support from MS on this, except GPO based throttling and BITS. With Win7 and server 2008, MS proves its focus on helping enterprises with cost-effective and efficient solutions for branch administration to increase the user productivity.
Branch caching is a new feature available in Windows 7 ideal for a typical branch office. It is integrated with BITS and is capable of caching http, https and SMB. From a security standpoint, it works seamlessly with SSL, IPSec and SMB signing. Also the solution is flexible for branch offices with/without local servers. Branch Caching should be looked upon as a feature which can complement the existing infrastructure. It brings in more value when used in conjunction with technologies like DFS, SCCM distribution, web servers etc. It is no surprise that many of the early adopters for Win 7 are looking at branch caching as a prospective solution for their branch user computing.
Together with windows server 2008, enterprises can provide more efficient solutions to their branch office users. The new active domain service in server 2008 supports read only domain controllers (RoDC) which can be of great use in offices with limited physical security. The addition of RoDC in a branch environment can substantially improve the user experience through faster authentication and authorization. Windows Server 2008 R2 comes with significant improvements in TCP/IP stack along with SMB 2.0 and other enhancements in file systems. These changes are focused on improving the efficiency and reducing the latencies, delays and utilization on WAN links. ------ Yogesh K G - Windows 7 / Windows server 2008 Architect