August 10 2015

Windows 10 peer-to-peer (P2P) patching

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Reviewing Microsoft 10 over the last week, I am very happy with the approach that Microsoft are taking with their ‘Windows Update Delivery Optimization’.  In short, this is peer-to-peer (P2P) sharing of Microsoft updates and Apps instead of content delivery directly from Microsoft servers. I like the concept behind this and I believe that this is an delivery method that we’ll start to see more of from other Internet-based software and service providers in the coming years.

The main concepts behind this are:

  • WUDO lets you get Windows updates and Windows Store apps from sources in addition to Microsoft.
  • Windows doesn’t download the entire file from one place. Instead, the download is broken down into smaller parts. Windows uses the fastest, most reliable download source for each part of the file.
  • WUDO creates a local cache, and stores files that it has downloaded in that cache for a short period of time. Depending on the settings, Windows then send parts of those files to other PCs on the local network or PCs on the Internet that are downloading the same files.
  • Delivery Optimization is turned on by default for all editions of Windows 10 (an opt-out scenario as opposed to opt-in), with the following differences:
    • Windows 10 Enterprise and Windows 10 Education: The PCs on your local network option is turned on by default.
    • All other editions of Windows 10: The PCs on your local network and PCs on the Internet option is turned on by default.
  • Users can turn this feature on and off, and can also set whether they can get and send updates to either just PCs on their local network or to PCs on the Internet as well.

There isn’t any detailed technical information available from Microsoft on how this works so one can only assume that it may be a larger implementation of Microsoft’s SCCM BranchCache concept.


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May 21 2013

Goodbye Windows Live Mesh…. Hello Cubby… File syncing fun

CubbyI had a simple requirement – to synchronise files across my personal laptops and desktops – a total of 4 machines – 3 desktops and 1 laptop. I wanted an up-to-date copy of the files I was working on whether I was at home, at work or in an internet cafe. The solution was simple and worked very well – Windows Live Sync – it was free and it worked well with little system resource overhead.

Then comes the day a couple of years ago when it stopped working – Microsoft withdrew it from it’s product suites and replaced it with Windows Live Mesh. I was forced to upgrade.  For the last couple of years, I struggled through using Windows Live Mesh – it really was pathetic. It didn’t have the simplicity of Windows Live Sync and the system resource overheads were massive – I often saw the Mesh processes sitting between 90 and 100% of total processor usage. Some files just didn’t sync – even after days of a machine being online, it still said it was waiting to sync some random files.  Then earlier this year Microsoft pulled Windows Live Mesh from its offering.

I’ve tried some alternatives but most of them want you to use cloud storage – I don’t want or need this all the time – sometimes I just want simple peer-to-peer file synchronisation.

I’ve tried Dropbox, SugarSync, SpiderOak, GoodSync. They didn’t satisfy me, they either had limited features, were too expensive or force you to use cloud storage.

Then I came across Cubby. This has met all my needs. I love that I can have simple peer-to-peer file synchronisation and can select what goes into the cloud storage – for example, I don’t want my 100GB of photos to be stored in the cloud, these should sync’d between machines only.  It is fast, has a simple interface and is light-weight.  There are web clients, PC clients and iOS clients – so I can access my files from anywhere.  The application is auto-updating. There are tons of other features too and they are continuously being updated. I have been using it for 6 months now and I love it.

Here is a referral link, if you are going to use Cubby, please use the link, it will give me an additional 1GB of cloud storage for each person that installs it 😉 –


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