What Does The Windows Update Delivery Optimization Function Do – You can install the Microsoft Connected Cache server on your distribution points. By caching this content, your customers can benefit from the delivery optimization feature that helps protect WAN links.
This cache server acts as a request-transparent cache for content downloaded by optimizing delivery. Use client settings to ensure that this server is presented only to members of the local Configuration Manager border group.
What Does The Windows Update Delivery Optimization Function Do
This cache is separate from the contents of the Configuration Manager distribution point. If you select the same drive as the distribution point role, it stores the contents separately.
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A linked cache server is an application installed on a Windows server. Starting with Configuration Manager version 2111, the linked cache is generally available for production use.
A related cache version available with Configuration Manager version 2107 and earlier is still under development.
When clients download cloud-managed content, they use delivery optimization from a cache server installed on your distribution point. Cloud managed content includes the following types:
Linked cache does not have a configuration manager to manage content such as software updates with an integrated software update point.
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When you configure clients to use a linked cache server, they no longer request Microsoft cloud-managed content from the Internet. Clients request this content from a cache server installed on the distribution point. The internal server stores this content using the IIS feature for Application Request Routing (ARR). The cache server can then quickly respond to any future requests for the same content. If the associated cache server is unavailable, clients download content from the Internet. Customers also use delivery optimization to download some content from their network peers.
Additional prerequisites apply to the scenario for co-managed clients and Intune Win32 apps. For more information, see Support for Intune Win32 apps.
You must subscribe to one of the following licenses for each device that receives content from the associated cache distribution point:
If you select Automatic, when Configuration Manager installs the associated cache component, it will honor the NO_SMS_ON_DRIVE.SMS file. For example, a distribution point has a file
Delivery Optimization Configuration & Monitoring
. Even if the C: drive has the most free space, Configuration Manager configures the connected cache to use another drive for its cache.
If you select a specific drive that already has a NO_SMS_ON_DRIVE.SMS file, Configuration Manager ignores the file. Setting up the associated cache to use this disk is the obvious intent. For example, a distribution point has a file
. When you directly configure the distribution point properties to use the F: drive, Configuration Manager configures Connected Cache to use the F: drive for its cache.
You can use the Configuration Manager SDK to automate the configuration of Microsoft Connected Cache settings on a distribution point. As with all site roles, use the SMS_SCI_SysResUse WMI class. For more information, see Programming site roles.
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On supported versions of Windows 10 or later, verify this behavior with the Get-DeliveryOptimizationStatus Windows PowerShell cmdlet. In the cmdlet output, look at the BytesFromCacheServer value. For more information, see Optimizing monitor delivery.
If the cache server returns any HTTP errors, the Delivery Optimization client falls back to the original cloud source.
When you enable Linked Cache on your Configuration Manager distribution points, they can serve Microsoft Intune Win32 applications to co-managed clients.
All other content that Intune-managed devices download from Microsoft with delivery optimization can also be stored in the Microsoft Connected Cache. This content includes software updates for Windows, Microsoft 365 apps, and Microsoft Edge.
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When you install Microsoft Connected Cache on a Configuration Manager distribution point, cloud-managed devices can use the internal cache. For example, a device managed by Intune but connected to an internal network. As long as a device can communicate with the server, the cache is available to serve content to those devices.
To configure the device to use Microsoft Connected Cache, configure the DOCacheHost policy. Set it to the FQDN or IP address of the Configuration Manager distribution point. For more information about this policy, see Policy CSP – DeliveryOptimization. Use the Cache Server Hostname setting to use Intune to configure this policy. For more information, see Delivery optimization settings for Windows devices in Intune.
When you enable this rule for cloud-managed devices, either type of device can request the server to cache content, and both can download content. If multiple devices request the same content, regardless of their management authority, they will download the supported and available content from the Microsoft Connected Cache. Delivery optimization helps save bandwidth by caching downloaded files when updates are distributed across the network. When used with WSUS, it can be especially useful in multi-site organizations if configured correctly.
Wolfgang Sommergut has more than 20 years of experience in IT journalism. He also worked as a system administrator and technical consultant. Today he runs the German publication WindowsPro.de.
Testing Delivery Optimization
Delivery Optimization (DO) was originally introduced as a component of Windows Update for Business (WUfB), but it also works with Windows Server Update Services (WSUS).
Clients first contact the WSUS server to check for new updates. If so, Windows 10 checks if it can receive cache update files from other computers (peers). If it can’t, then the computer downloads updates from WSUS.
DO is not just an additional option you can enable to reduce the load on WSUS. It is already enabled by default in all editions of Windows 10. However, the Enterprise Edition is limited to requesting only cached update files within the LAN, while the Consumer Editions also connect to computers on the Internet.
Even if companies already use BranchCache to cache file updates, Windows 10 automatically switches to delivery optimization unless it is explicitly disabled (this is done with
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In addition to feature and quality updates for the operating system, drivers and files from the Microsoft Store, Windows 10 also handles click-to-click updates for Office starting with version 1709. The 2004 version added support for traditional Office updates and MSIX . .
Windows servers can also receive updates from networked computers; In this case, delivery optimization is disabled by default. As of version 1709, this feature is also available for Server Kernel.
A prerequisite for delivery optimization is that computers are connected to the Internet, as caching is orchestrated by a cloud service.
In addition, the minimum hardware requirements by default are 4 GB of RAM and 32 GB of storage space on the system disk. These values and the location of the cache can be adjusted through Group Policy.
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In order for clients to efficiently exchange updates, it is important to group them according to the network topology. The above option to download content only from computers on the local network simply puts all computers connected to the Internet through the same public IP (ie the same firewall) into one group.
However, if clients clustered in this way are spread across multiple locations and connected via a slow network, it defeats the entire purpose of DO. In addition, transferring the contents of the cache will also slow down other applications.
. By default, this setting applies between devices on the same Active Directory sites or on the same domain if not available.
If the domain-based group is too large or the AD sites do not match the network topology, there are alternative ways to join the peers.
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. With it, you assign the same ID to all computers that need to work together as peers for caching and distributing updates. The ID must be a GUID, which can be generated using PowerShell as follows:
Ideally, the computers in question are located in the same organizational units, so that they can be assigned the same ID by the GPO associated with these OUs. Additionally, you can apply WMI filters to more specific clients.
In addition to grouping computers with a common DNS suffix, one additional option is to assign a GUID via DHCP option 234. This is especially useful if certain subnets can be targeted this way.
A similar problem occurs when users connect to a company’s network through a VPN. Because these connections are often relatively slow, it is not desirable for such remote computers to have an update cache function for computers on the LAN.
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Delivery Optimization tries to figure out whether a computer is connected to a VPN by checking the type of network adapter and whether its description contains certain keywords, such as “VPN” or “secure.”
In this case, DO disables all peer activity. If you want to change this default behavior, you can do so via a parameter
Group Policy also provides multiple settings, regardless of connection type, to control network traffic from peer-to-peer interactions.
It includes the maximum download bandwidth (in percentages or, since Windows 10 2004, also absolute values) for the foreground and background, using monthly upper limits in GB, and defines the working hours during which the transfer volume can be limited.
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After setting up delivery optimization according to your own requirements, you will wonder if the feature is working as intended. To check it, you can start
You can get a lot more information with PowerShell, which offers several cmdlets
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