Integrating BranchCache with Configuration Manager and OS Deployment

Integrating BranchCache with Configuration Manager and OS Deployment

A very good friend of mine, and someone you probably might all recognize, Phil Wilcock has emerged back onto the System Center Configuration Manager scene. If you don't recognize Phil's name, that's OK. But, anyone that has worked with Configuration Manager any time prior to 2006 will remember Phil as one of the co-founders of 1E and a true proponent for the Configuration Manager community. 1E should also be a very recognizable Configuration Manager entity to many of you. The company has produced some of the best, world-class integration solution for Configuration Manager in the last decade or longer.

Around 2006, Phil left 1E to become, of all things, a pig farmer. In 2013, he messed around a bit with a company called ATEA, a consulting firm with an extremely large presence in Europe. But, I guess, Phill just couldn't shake that pioneering spirit.

Unveiled during TechEd Europe 2014, Phil has co-founded another company called 2Pint Software that, once again, is focused on bringing additional value to Configuration Manager. The company's first software releases (also announced and demoed at TechEd Europe) expand Configuration Manager's capabilities for working with BranchCache. BranchCache, of course, is a technology available in Windows Server 2012 and Windows 8, and some editions of Windows Server 2008 and Windows 7, that optimizes WAN bandwidth for content distribution. 2Pint Software's solutions help Configuration Manager take advantage of this valuable technology.

2Pint's first couple releases include:

…and…

  • BranchCache for OSD Toolkit (Enables BranchCache in the Windows Pre-Installation Environment (WinPE) and also for non BranchCache enabled systems)

2Pint also offers a couple free products to get you started, listed as "Half Pint" software. The licensed versions of 2Pint's software are called "Full Pints." If you know Phil, this is extremely fitting.

There's two free tools:

  • Status Generator (A tool to create custom status messages using the Client SDK)

…and…

  • HashiBashi (utility for testing BranchCache Hashes)

I'm extremely excited to see Phil back on the Configuration Manager scene, and expect big things from 2Pint Software. Check them out when you get a chance.

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