In this article, I will show you how to enable binary differential replication in SCCM, and we will understand how Configuration Manager uses binary differential replication (BDR) to update content.
According to Microsoft, Binary Differential Replication (BDR) reduces the amount of network bandwidth required to send updates for distributed content. It resends only the new or changed content instead of sending the entire set of content source files each time you change those files.
For ConfigMgr packages that include huge files, like the installation.wim file for OSD, use binary differential replication. The binary differential methods require additional overhead to determine which bits should be sent to distribution points for each file in the package source. Therefore, use this option sparingly.
For deployments with many small files, binary differential replication may not be worth the overhead it incurs. You can enable the option to use binary differential replication on a per-package basis.
Note: Binary differential replication also does not work between sites until all targeted sites have received at least one version of the package.
Pull-distribution points and content-enabled cloud management gateways don’t support BDR to transfer content. Pull-distribution points support file-level deltas, transferring new files, but not blocks within a file.
Recommended: Learn how to set up SCCM distribution point role
What happens when you enable BDR?
When you enable BDR, if a file already exists on the distribution point and there’s a change, the site uses BDR to replicate the block-level change instead of the entire file. This behavior only applies when you enable the object to use BDR. The BDR is always enabled for apps and is optional for legacy packages.
BDR Support in Configuration Manager
In Configuration Manager, you can enable Binary Differential Replication on the following:
- Applications (BDR enabled by default)
- OS Images
- OS Upgrade Packages
- Configuration Manager Boot Images
- Software Update Packages
Delta Replications vs. Binary Differential Replication
The list of differences between delta replication and binary differential replication in Configuration Manager is provided below.
- Delta replication is always on by default, whereas BDR must be explicitly enabled in the package properties. The BDR is always enabled for apps.
- BDR can increase the amount of time it takes for SCCM to process and distribute packages. Whereas delta replication is much faster compared to binary differential replication.
- When a package with BDR is distributed or redistributed only the bit changes on any files are distributed to the distribution point. Delta replication occurs when the contents of a file or folder within a package change.
Enable Binary Differential Replication in SCCM for Packages
Enable Binary Differential Replication for individual packages in SCCM using the following steps:
- Launch the Configuration Manager console.
- Navigate to Software Library\Overview\Application Management\Packages.
- Select an existing package and go to the package properties.
- Switch to the Data Source tab and turn on “enable binary differential replication“.
- Click on Apply and OK to save the changes.
Enable BDR for SCCM Boot Images
You can enable BDR on individual boot images in SCCM. To accomplish that, navigate to Software Library\Overview\Operating Systems\Boot Images. Right-click the Boot image and select Properties. Select Data Source tab and checkbox “Enable binary differential replication” option. Click Apply and OK.
After you enable the BDR for boot images, you must update the boot images to distribution points.
Enable Binary Differential Replication for Software Update Package
During the Automatic Deployment Rule creation, you create a new software update package that contains the updates for deployment. You can enable BDR on Software Update package with few easy steps.
In the ConfigMgr console, go to Software Library\Overview\Software Updates\Deployment Packages. Right-click a software update deployment package and select Properties. In the General tab, enable the binary differential replication feature and click OK to save the changes.
Note: If you have multiple software update deployment packages, you need to enable the BDR manually on each deployment package.