A branch distribution is intended to allow smaller or distributed offices to host a Microsoft System Center Configuration Manager 2007 distribution point on an existing client computer without requiring a secondary site to be set up. Branch distribution points provide an option for efficient package distribution to a small office that has limited bandwidth.

Although a branch distribution point functions like a standard distribution point, it is not intended to replace the role of a site server or management point. Additionally, because a branch distribution point can be installed on a workstation, operating system limitations might require fewer than 10 simultaneous client connections.

Limited Network Bandwidth

To support possible bandwidth limitations, a branch distribution point can use the Background Intelligent Transfer Service (BITS) to limit network traffic when downloading packages. BITS allows administrators to control the transfer rates to the branch distribution point and provide a checkpoint restart of a package download. If a package download is interrupted or if the connection is lost as the result of slow or unreliable network connections, the download can continue at that point rather than restarting from the beginning of the download.

In addition to providing administrators with the ability to limit network traffic usage through BITS, branch distribution points also provide an option that allows packages to be downloaded to the branch distribution point only after the package has been specifically requested by a client, which allows more efficient bandwidth management.

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