Package Distribution in CM2012

For those of you who have been playing with CM2012 you will have noticed a few changes for package distribution. This post is designed to go through these and explain the differences.

First of all in CM2012 a new option exists to say that a distribution point is for prestaged content. This is important when you come to look in the properties of a package. The new option to say that content will be prestaged on a distribution point is very good for content which is in remote locations.

Now in Packages, Boot Images, Driver Packages and Operating System Images we have a new setting on the Distribution Settings tab. If we are talking about the Application space then this is on the Content tab in the deployment type. The setting is specifying how we want to interact with distribution points which we have indicated are prestaged distribution points. These new settings are as follows:

  1. “Automatically download content when packages are assigned to distribution points” – When you have smaller packages where the throttling and scheduling settings will give you control for the distribution of the content then this option is for you. As an example a package like Visual C++ Redist or maybe a .NET Framework would fall into this category.
  2. “Download only content changes to the distribution point” – This option allows you to prestage the contents of a large package such as Office and then download only the changes. As an example the Office media is around 800Mb for instance but additional patches may only be around 5Mb. Another brilliant example of a use for this setting is driver packages where additional drivers may be less than 1Mb but the initial package may be too large to distribute over the network.
  3. “Manually copy the content in this package to the distribution point” – This option is designed for distribution points in very low bandwidth locations where you will never send the package over the network.

It should be noted that these options are only applicable to distribution points where the option “Enable this distribution point for prestaged content” is ticked and is applied per package.


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About Martyn

Martyn is one of the Senior Cloud Architects and DevOps Team Leader at one of the worlds leading Cloud Transformation Specialists Inframon. Martyn is responsible for the architecture of some of the largest Azure deployments in EMEA and is a advisor to a many businesses on their strategies. Martyn is a regular speaker at Microsoft events and community events on Azure and DevOps, giving his insight to a growing number of audiences.

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