We help IT Professionals succeed at work.

WSUS BranchCache Windows 10 LTSB


I’m attempting to setup and configure BranchCache (Distributed mode) to assist with updating our clients.  
Some background info:
Windows Firewall disabled on WSUS server
WSUS to update clients - Single WSUS server running 2012 R2.
2 clients in
BranchCache installed and configured on WSUS Server.
BranchCache enabled on clients for testing.

Monitoring client IEBQ01337POS02T via Perfmon and wireshark shows that all content is being received from the WSUS server, with no caching and nothing coming from cache or peer. Client GBBQ0137POS02T is thus I assume not utilizing BranchCache at all and the second client IEBQ01337POS02T  is using BranchCache and caching content locally. So first download on second client is from wsus server and when you uninstall and delete updates from SoftwareDistribution folder it is then taken from local cache. I only have these two clients to play with and I can't force the first one to use BranchCache and I don't know why.

Have I missed anything?  It seems I have configured everything but updates are fully downloaded over the WAN link from the WSUS server.
Please for more details see document attached.
Thanks a lot for support in advance,
Watch Question

Distinguished Expert 2018

It looks like you missed a critical step:

"In addition to these steps, there is one requirement for WSUS to be able to use BranchCache in either operating mode: the WSUS server must be configured to download updates locally on the server to a shared folder. This way, you can select BranchCache publication for the share."

Source: https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/deployment/update/waas-branchcache
Dusan PohlIT Architect



Hi Cliff, 

Thanks for response, but I think that is not the case or I'm not sure what you mean. In attached word document it reads:  

When you deploy BranchCache in distributed cache mode or hosted cache mode, you must deploy one or more content servers at your main office. Content servers that are Web servers or application servers use the BranchCache feature.

We deployed one WSUS Content Server in our DC. Server is configured as autonomous replica.

To deploy content servers that are Secure Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTPS) 1.1 Web servers, Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP) 1.1 Web servers, and Background Intelligent Transfer service (BITS)-based application servers, such as Windows Server Update Services (WSUS) and System Center Configuration Manager branch distribution site system servers, you must install the BranchCache feature, start the BranchCache service, and (for WSUS servers only) perform additional configuration steps.

Membership in Administrators or equivalent was the minimum required to perform this procedure.

Firstly we installed WSUS feature and configured it to store updates locally.

For BranchCache we then used the Add Features Wizard of Server Manager in Windows Server 2012 R2 to enable BranchCache on a Web server or BITS application server.

To install the BranchCache feature we did:

·        Click Start, point to Administrative Tools, and then click Server Manager.

·        Right-click Features and then click Add Features.

·        In the Add Features Wizard, select BranchCache, and then click Next.

·        In the Confirm Installation Selections dialog box, click Install.

·        In the Installation Results dialog box, confirm that BranchCache installed successfully, and then click Close.

·        Hash publication for BranchCache is not needed - it's only for SMB based caching. BITS uses http to get content from WSUS.

Note: After we installed the BranchCache feature, the BranchCache service – also called the PeerDistSvc - was enabled, and the start type is now Automatic.

Is this what you have meant? 


Distinguished Expert 2018
If you look at the link I posted and read the quote, you'd see that is official Microsoft documentation and it CLEARLY SAYS an additional step/requirement is needed for WSUS. Specifically that the folder WSUS downloads updates to is a share that is published by branch-cache.

I am just passing along what Ms says is a requirement for this to work. With a source link. You can disagree with Ms if you like. But the document clearly talking about WSUS with Branch-cache. And your word doc makes no mention of a share. So.... YMMV.
Dusan PohlIT Architect



hmmm. Thanks a lot. 

OK lets do it step by step.

We now have in WSUS console selected option Download update files locally on this server. 

In addition we need to assure as MS says " folder WSUS downloads updates to is a share that is published by branch-cache."

This statement is not crystal clear to me but I tried the following.

run mmc as admin.

added snap-in shared folders

clicked on shares

For folders WSUSContent and UpdateServicesPackages I wanted to in Properties/Offline settings../ Enable BranchCache

This option was not available until I installed File Services server role and the BranchCache for network files role service on a computer running Windows Server® 2012.

I did this following this manual " https://gallery.technet.microsoft.com/Windows-Server-2012-R2-and-c18a6dd1" by running powershell as administrator and executing commands

Install-WindowsFeature FS-BranchCache -IncludeManagementTools


To install the Data Deduplication role service, type the following command, and then press ENTER.

Install-WindowsFeature FS-Data-Deduplication -IncludeManagementTools

I will try to test with this settings implemented and get back. 

Dusan PohlIT Architect


Hi Cliff,

I'm testing and now it works. Much appreciated.