Many organizations have branch and remote offices. They might be across town, across the country, or around the world. A common problem facing organizations like this is having all of the various sites share information and work with data. Each site can’t maintain their own files, spreadsheets, databases or other files. That would be too cumbersome to correlate and try to ensure that everyone is on the same page. The solution for that is to house the data in a centralized data repository at the headquarters location or a common data center.
That solution comes with its own issues though. Opening and working with large files over a remote network connection can be painstakingly slow. One or two users accessing data over the network from the central repository can also tie up a significant chunk of bandwidth, making the network slow and unresponsive for others as well.
Windows 7 has a solution to help remote and branch offices work with data more efficiently while reducing the impact on network bandwidth- BranchCache. Essentially, BranchCache acts as a proxy, storing (or ‘caching’) data that is accessed so that subsequent queries for the same data can be served up locally rather than being sent across the network each time. I am not really doing the feature justice though. If you really want to learn about BranchCache and understand how it can help your organization or your customers, check out the Windows 7 Feature Walkthrough for a short video overview of BranchCache.