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Problem:  BranchCache services do not work as expected.

Background:  BranchCache services are installed in a hub and spoke topology; data center serves multiple branch offices.

File servers at the data center are enabled as BranchCache content hosts.  BranchCache hosted cache servers set-up at each branch office. 

Troubleshooting: There is not a single pane BranchCahce GUI for management and monitoring -too bad!  The following steps confirm if BranchCache works:

1.  Confirm BranchCache is properly configured and operational on the servers and clients:

PowerShell:  Get-BCStatus

CMD:  netsh branchcache show status all

2.  Use Performance Monitor to check for real-time BranchCache activity (or lack of):

a)  Open PerfMon.



b)  Add the BranchCache counter.




c.)  Change graph type to "report".  The statistics will increase in real-time when any BranchCache file transfer takes place:



d)  Transfer data.  If BranchCache is working, the above highlighted numbers will increase in real-time.

Solution:

I missed the elephant in the room.

The problem was the specific version of Windows 8 used for the tests.  Windows 8 Enterprise must be used when working with BranchCache; not Professional.

This may seem obvious to anyone that has worked with the 2008R2 and Windows 7 BranchCache; however all the prerequisites from Microsoft simply read, "Windows 8" whereas Microsoft specifically indicated, "Windows 7 Enterprise".
References:

http://social.technet.microsoft.com/wiki/contents/articles/14309.branchcache-frequently-asked-questions.aspx

http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/jj590747.aspx#bkmk_pre

http://technet.microsoft.com/library/jj572990

Last updated  March 30th, 2014 by Steven Jordan

About Steven Jordan

Steven Jordan is an infrastructure and process management specialist. Steven holds a Master of Science degree in ICT from the University of Wisconsin Stout. Steven is also a Cisco Certified Network Professional (CCNP) and Master Gardener.
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