Pull and Cloud Distribution Points

After you upgrade SCCM to SP1, some of the differences may be overlooked. Sure, you will see new nodes throughout different portions of the console. However, there are certain aspects that fly under the radar after an upgrade that you would see if you were doing a straight install.

Luckily for me, part of my upgrade initiative included migrating Distribution Points to different servers at each of my sites. When going through the Add Site System Roles Wizard to add the Distribution Point role, I noticed the phrase “Pull Distribution Point.” What is the magical nugget that I have stumbled on and what can it do for me?

Simply put, a Pull Distribution Point allows a Distribution Point to be used as an upstream content server for another specific Distribution Point. This new feature proves useful when there is a slow link between a Site Server and a Distribution Point, but there is a stronger link between one Distribution Point and another. Basically, it serves as an alternative to throttling the distribution of your content using rate limits and scheduling.

Another fun new toy is the Cloud Distribution feature. This allows us to create Distribution Points in Windows Azure, giving us the flexibility to spin one up or tear one down as needed. This can help tremendously in the event of a large application upgrade project or simple management of mobile workstations that do not connect to a static location.

Click HERE for a link to a good blog covering both of these topics, including a couple of helpful diagrams.

Of course, there are many more features that SP1 brings to the table…these are just two that stuck out to me immediately and that I found interesting. I plan on testing the cloud-based Distribution Point scenario in the near future, so look for an upcoming post!

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