At TechEd, Microsoft revealed about new networking features in Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008. The enhancements clearly focus on making Windows work better from outside the corporate network and in Branch office situations. Two prominent new features are:
First is, Direct Access — Microsoft's implementation of what I have earlier referred to as DirectConnect. The technoligy enables user to access resources on the corporate network from a corporate system over the Internet without a VPN using IPv6 and IPSec. Steve Riley already did a demo of this technology at Tech Ed in Orlando. It will be implemented as a client in Windows 7 and as a role on Windows Server 2008 R2.
Second feature is called “BranchCache” — a new caching technology that locally caches data that is retrieved over a WAN link using SMB or HTTP(S). This enables the next user that needs the same piece of information to retrieve the data without pulling all data over the line again. The demo's showed a substantial gain in speed. BranchCache is implemented in such a way that is preserves the security of the information.
BranchCache can be implemented in two modes:
- BranchCache Distributed Cache
- BranchCache Hosted Cache