AirWatch offers a peer distribution system to deploy Win32 applications to enterprise networks. Peer distribution can reduce the time to download large applications to multiple devices in deployments that use a branch office structure.

Win32 Distribution Challenge

In the default distribution process, software distribution, the AirWatch Console deploys Win32 applications from a secure file storage system or from a content delivery network (CDN). Win32 applications are large and it takes time for them to download to devices. The downloading of Win32 applications can also increase the traffic on communication channels. Multiple devices use the channel to retrieve the large application simultaneously from the CDN or file storage. This constant traffic can hamper network availability needed for other mission critical applications.

Win32 Distribution Option - Peer Distribution

VMware AirWatch partners with Adaptiva to offer the peer distribution system.

The peer distribution system works to reduce the traffic on networks and the time to install Win32 applications. Installation begins with a specific device in the office or subnet called the rendezvous point (RVP). This initial download takes time. However, installation times improve because devices are not taxing the storage system or the line of communication for the application package. Instead, devices receive the package from other devices in the network. The system also monitors the network for traffic. If the network is busy, installations pause until the network availability increases.

Environments that Benefit from Peer Distribution

Peer distribution benefits environments with specific characteristics.

  • Offices in remote locations with low bandwidth and with little means to increase the network bandwidth.
  • Enterprises that use branch office hierarchies.
  • Enterprises that have multiple branch offices that have a large number of devices.

For required components of the peer distribution system, see Requirements for Peer-To-Peer Distribution.

Peer Distribution Component Roles

Peer distribution uses two main components: a peer-to-peer server and peer-to-peer clients.

  • Peer-to-peer server
    • This component maintains the metadata of the Win32 applications but not the actual application packages. It also maintains information about clients, client IP addresses, the number of active clients, and the content presently at each client.
    • This component resides in your network and it must communicate with these components.
      • VMware Enterprise Systems Connector

        You can install the server and the VMware Enterprise Systems Connector on the same machine.

      • SQL Database or SQL Server Express
      • Peer-to-peer clients on devices
    • Download and install the server from the AirWatch Console before you configure peer distribution.
  • Peer-to-peer clients
    • This component distributes application packages between peers, or devices, and it receives application metadata from the server. These clients use licenses you buy with the peer distribution feature.
    • This component resides on devices and it must communicate with these components.
      • Software distribution clients on devices
      • Peer-to-peer server
    • The peer distribution system automatically deploys clients to devices when you complete the peer distribution software setup. An installed peer-to-peer client uses one license.
  • Network Topology
    • This component represents your network as offices in a hierarchy. It enables the peer distribution system to deploy applications more efficiently. It uses the hierarchy to control what clients get downloads and in what order. It uses devices called rendezvous points, or RVPs, as master clients in an office. The RVP receives downloads and disseminates the applications to peer clients.
    • This component is a spreadsheet that you upload to the AirWatch Console. If you do not have a network topology, you can download the spreadsheet from the console and edit the topology initially identified by the peer distribution system.
    • Though this component is optional, it greatly improves efficiencies and download speeds.