Summary

This section describes each feature of Nomad, there are two main categories: Core features and Advanced features.

In this section

Core features

Nomad provides a number of key features that maximize download efficiency in branch network deployment scenarios. It integrates closely with Configuration Manager, assists with WAN link usage efficiency during downloads, copes with different network protocols and provides support for App-V virtual application downloads.

  • App-V supportNomad supports application virtualization (App-V) applications which are deployed as streamed content by Configuration Manager 2012.
  • Cache managementThe cache mechanism is essential to Nomad's download once to branch feature. The cache enables Nomad to hold its downloaded content so that it can be distributed locally to other Nomad peers. The Nomad cache contains downloaded content (such as packages, applications, and software updates) which can vary in size from relative small patches to rather large OS image files. These packages consume disk space so management of the cache is critical. Because the files may be re-used and distributed to
  • Distributing software with Nomad and Configuration ManagerNomad integrates tightly with Configuration Manager, acting as an alternate download provider on a per-package basis for software distribution, per-task sequence or per-site for applications and software updates. The Configuration Manager client requests the download of package data using Nomad where it acts purely as a download client with the execution of the program being handled by the  Configuration Manager client. The Nomad client must be installed on all  Configuration Manager client mach
  • Download once to branchNomad ensures that software packages are only ever copied once per branch over the WAN – utilizing local computers as temporary file caches to distribute the software locally. This reduces the bandwidth required for delivering software updates and means that small offices or sites connected via poor network links can receive software updates more reliably. The Nomad clients with local copies of the package can themselves act as the master if the need arises. This significantly reduces the number
  • Download resumption and consistency checkingTo minimize repeated downloads of the same content from the Distribution Point Nomad supports download resumption and consistency checking.
  • FIPS compliant communication encryptionNomad has always provided encryption for most of its communications. Now, In Nomad version 6.0, an advanced FIPS compliant encryption algorithm has been made available. The United States Federal Information Processing Standard (FIPS) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/FIPS_140-2 is a standard that defines security requirements for software used by the U.S. federal government. It stipulates that applications that encrypt any sensitive data should use only a certain set of approved encryption algorithms
  • Full control over WAN link usageNomad dynamically analyzes the overall WAN traffic to ensure that it only uses a percentage of the total. It uses dynamic block sizes to allow it to take full speed advantage of high-bandwidth links while retaining its low impact on low-bandwidth links. It is also aware of mobile devices and knows the difference between wireless and wired connections and is able to select the most efficient available connection to use.
  • IPv6 and DirectAccess supportBy providing support for IPv6 environments, Nomad supports distribution to clients connected to the corporate network using the DirectAccess feature.
  • Remote differential compression integrationNot only is Nomad aware of the file level differences between different versions of a package so that only changed files are downloaded, it is also aware of the differences within individual files. This is sometimes known as binary differential replication or binary deltas but is more commonly known as remote differential compression (RDC) integration.
  • The Nomad DashboardThe Nomad Dashboard is a collection of interactive tiles made available in the Configuration Manager console that provides you with a global view across your network of Nomad status and latest operation details. 
Advanced features

Nomad provides a number of advanced features that deal with specific scenarios and enhancements, including: the Nomad dashboard, client health, Office 365 updates, single-site download, peer-backup assistant and Nomad Fanout.

  • Client healthClient health is a background service that monitors Nomad clients to ensure that they are running as expected and where it encounters issues, it will attempt a self-heal or remediation. It is installed as a 1E Client Health service and like NomadBranch, its Startup Type attribute is Automatic (Delayed Start).  It reports its health checks to Configuration Manager in the form of status messages which can be viewed in the Nomad dashboard.
  • Cloud SupportNomad now supports the following Configuration Manager on Azure scenarios: IaaS (Infrastructure as a Service) scenario where you host your Configuration Manager infrastructure servers in Azure virtual machines; cloud-based distribution points, where System Center Configuration Manager distribution points are hosted in Microsoft Azure as a cloud service; Cloud Management Gateways, where Configuration Manager management points are hosted in the cloud.
  • Deploying Office 365 updatesConfiguration Manager introduced support for Office 365 agents in Current Branch 1602. There are no additional steps to perform when you configure Office 365 update deployments and in the way you configure Software Updates and Applications in Configuration Manager to use Nomad. However, the format of the content requests passed to Nomad differ considerably from all other types of content. This section describes how Office 365 types of deployments differ in terms of ACP requirements and goes on t
  • Integrating with WakeUpNomad integration with WakeUp enables Nomad to share content from its machines that are holding particular content, even if those machines are shut down.
  • Managing large package distribution with multicastIf you want to make more efficient use of your network when distributing the same data to many end-points, you may want to consider using multicast – it may already be used in your environment for multi-media tasks such as providing video content. Multicast is a complex technology that requires complete buy-in from both your system and network administrators.
  • Nomad Download PauseNomad integrates with Tachyon to enable pausing or resuming Nomad downloads throughout the estate. This feature provides a safety measure for situations when a faulty or harmful deployment is made by mistake. In such situations pausing Nomad downloads on all targeted devices can prevent or limit the potential damage. It can also be used to facilitate troubleshooting, making it possible to pause all Nomad downloads across the network and enable IT teams to eliminate content distribution from thei
  • Nomad FanOutWindows imposes a limit on the number of concurrent connections on the Nomad share. The FanOut feature compensates for this limitation by enabling peers connected to the master to themselves allow connections to other peers requiring the download so that more peers can be updated at the same time.
  • Nomad pre-cachingPre-caching lets you pre-load the Nomad caches of particular machines directly from the Configuration Manager console. This enables downloads to be available on the branch prior to a deployment taking place, which can be very useful in large-scale deployment scenarios.
  • Nomad SECureSECure enables content to be signed, encrypted and compressed on the DP which clients can download – content is downloaded according to the data format (0 – original, 1 – compressed or 2 – encrypted+compressed) specified in the client policy. If you intend to use this feature, you must update all Nomad clients to 6.1 or they will fail to download encrypted content. This is because older clients only supports the original unencrypted data format.
  • Peer Backup Assistant (PBA)The Peer Backup Assistant (PBA) feature enables files and settings data to be backed-up to a peer computer so that they can be maintained when the computer is being migrated to a new Operating System. Using PBA, you can avoid the cost of specifically provisioning state migration points or servers to hold the backup data, as peer computers can utilized to provide this feature. The risk of losing user data through the migration process is also greatly reduced in the process.
  • OS deployment task sequencesNomad can integrate with OSD strategies to maximize the efficiency of distributing large OS content across the network. It does this by providing a number of Task Sequence steps that can be integrated directly into your OSD Task Sequences.
  • Single-site downloadNomad's single-site download (SSD) feature ensures a download across the WAN only happens once per site. It does this by maintaining information about which subnets are neighbors of each other (accessible on LAN rather than WAN), so that when an elected master considers a download from a DP rather than a peer in its subnet, it can discover which other local subnets already has the package. These subnets are typically at a single customer site, specifically a single geographical location. The seq
  • The Download MonitorIf you installed the Download Monitor in basic mode, you will only see progress bars in the UI – useful for those who only need to see the status of the downloads. If you installed it in advanced mode, you will see an extended UI – useful for administrators to troubleshooting downloads as they can connect to remote machines to view the status of the downloads and provided they have sufficient Remote Activation DCOM permissions, By default, the Download Monitor connects to the local machine.
  • The Nomad Baseline WizardThe Nomad Baseline Wizard is used to create a Configuration Manager Baseline from the Configuration Manager console for settings related to Nomad and Client Health.