Introducing Nomad 7.0.200
Working with Nomad
Download once to branch
Download resumption and consistency checking
Distributing software with Nomad and Configuration Manager
Downloading content for CM Software Updates from Microsoft Update
Deploying Office 365 updates
Windows 10 Express Installation Files and Delta Content for Updates
Remote differential compression integration
- Download once to branch
OS Deployment features
Operational best practices
Frequently asked questions
- Core features
SummaryCore features of Nomad that are available with minimal configuration of the Nomad client. Some features require additional configuration of Nomad client on Configuration Manager Distribution Points.
Nomad core features maximize download efficiency in branch network deployment scenarios, and reduces the number of Configuration Manager Distribution Points. Nomad integrates closely with Configuration Manager, assists with WAN link usage efficiency during downloads, copes with different network protocols, and provides support for Configuration Manager content including the following:
- Software updates, including
- Office 365 updates
- Windows 10 Express File Updates
- App-V virtual applications deployed as streamed content
These features are described in greater detail in the following pages:
In this section
Nomad 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 of Configuration Manager servers required to manage a Configuration Manager hierarchy, thereby reducing initial and ongoing maintenance costs.
To minimize repeated downloads of the same content from the Distribution Point Nomad supports download resumption and consistency checking.
The Nomad cache 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.
Nomad uses file system hardlinks between the Nomad and Configuration Manager client caches, ensuring that only a single copy of the content is retained. Hardlinks are used for all content types except Office 365 Updates, as this type of content is retained in the Office 365 Click To Run agent installation folder rather than the CCM cache folder.
Nomad integrates tightly with the Configuration Manager (CM) client content download process. When Nomad is installed, it registers with the Configuration Manager client as an Alternate Content Provider (ACP), which means the CM client will use Nomad as an alternative to BITS when it requires content, if Nomad is enabled for the requested content object. Nomad can be enabled on individual Packages (including Driver Packages, Operating System Images, Operating System Upgrade Packages and Boot Images) and Task Sequences. For Applications and Software Updates, Nomad is enabled on each client for all Applications and Software Updates through Default Client Settings. When the CM client requires Nomad-enabled content, it passes a request to Nomad, which in turn downloads the content, places it in the CM client cache and passes back to the CM client for execution. The 1E Client (with Nomad client module enabled) must be installed on all CM client machines and on all Distribution Points (DP).
Configuration Manager introduced support for Office 365 agents in Current Branch 1602, and Nomad introduced support in version 6.1.100. This section describes how Office 365 deployments differ in terms of ACP requirements and goes on to describe how Nomad behaves during the download.
As Windows 10 cumulative updates get very big, very quickly (often in excess of 1GB a few months after any given Feature Upgrade), Microsoft started publishing express installation files for these updates in addition to the traditional full update files. Configuration Manager introduced support for Windows 10 Express Installation File updates in Current Branch 1802 hotfix KB4163547.
Express installation files are a much larger payload on the Distribution Point compared to traditional software update files, but the feature enables clients to download delta byte-ranges from these files, so each month the amount of data a client has to download is typically much smaller. Configuration Manager Current Branch can be configured to support express installation files (refer to https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/configmgr/sum/deploy-use/manage-express-installation-files-for-windows-10-updates for more details).
With the release of Windows 10 1809, Microsoft replaced express update files with a new way of managing deltas within software updates. In Configuration Manager 1902 the Enable installation of Express installation files on clients option in Software Update Client Settings was replaced with Allow clients to download delta content when available.
Nomad supports the download of Express installation files and delta content for updates.
Nomad supports application virtualization (App-V) applications which are deployed as streamed content by Configuration Manager.
Not 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.
Nomad supports the following Configuration Manager on Azure scenarios: