The last entry began the discussion of peer DP's with an overview description of this new feature. I thought for this entry we would spend a few lines discussing how a peer DP actually gets provisioned with content.
As mentioned in the last entry, it is possible for an administrator to proactively configure a peer DP to host content. This is done just as it is for a standard DP - just add it to the package distribution point list. But how does the peer DP actually get the content?
When a standard DP is provisioned the content is copied at that time to the distribution point and made available to clients. Provisioning a peer DP is a bit different. In order to add content to a peer DP there must be at least one standard BITS enabled DP that either already has the content or is being provisioned with the content at the same time as the peer DP. If this is not the case an error will be displayed to the administrator - the peer DP will still be added but no content will be provisioned until at least one standard BITS enabled DP is available with the content.
In addition, content is not copied to the peer DP but, instead, policy is prepared and targeted to the peer DP letting it know there is content that needs to be downloaded. When the peer DP checks for policy it will download this setting and store it locally. Then, the peer DP component of the client will evaluate this policy and begin the download of the content at that time. Once the content is downloaded the peer DP is available to serve the content to requesting clients.
Remember, a peer DP is a function that can be performed by any SCCM 2007 client - every client has the peer DP agent role. Whether this role is active is determined by whether the client is configured as a peer DP site system. Remember also that a peer DP does require interaction with BITS enabled DP's in order to download content.
We will discuss how 'on demand' provisioning works in the next entry.