No file sharing – Nomad’s connectionless mode is a life-saver

1E-Nomad- 8211 -Enterprise-Software-Deployment

In Windows, the ‘Server’ service enables support for file and print services sharing over the network. When requesting a shared resource on a machine, the Server service responds and routes the resource to the requesting client. The same process is applied when making a remote request. The process is as follows:

  1. The client makes a request to the remote server service, requesting access to a file from server file system.
  2. The request is received by the network card (NIC) driver, and this is then forwarded to the appropriate local file system driver.
  3. The file system driver calls the disk subsystem driver to read the file
  4. The disk subsystem driver returns the file contents to the file system driver, which passes it back to the NIC driver.
  5. The NIC driver then forwards it on over the network to the requesting client.

Let’s suppose in an environment the file & print services sharing over the network has been disabled, i.e. the ‘Server’ service [LanmanServer] has been disabled. The previous process flow doesn’t work as the remote server request is rejected.

As mentioned, historically Nomad communications have required that File and Print services must be enabled in order to be able to create the Nomad shares. Since version 4 Nomad can be configured to bypass File and Print services and use a connectionless transfer. Nomad clients support copying from Master Machine even when there is no file sharing. That’s ‘Connectionless Peer-to-peer’ (P2P) copying. The standard Nomad share (NomadShr) cannot be created in such a scenario but peers will still be able to copy the content from the master machine. It is very easy to enable connectionless P2P. You will need to set the Nomad P2PEnabled registry setting (described below).

The P2PEnabled registry setting controls the peer-to-peer communications used by Nomad. To enable connectionless P2P you will need to set P2PEnabled setting to 0x0006.

The following table shows the supported values:

BitHexDecimalDescription
00x00011P2P enabled. This is the default value and should remain set to allow Nomad to work correctly.
10x00022Enable connectionless P2P server.
20x00044Enable connectionless P2P client.

The Connectionless P2P copy happens over UDP and is only recommended for environments where File and Print services are disabled. In all other instances the standard shares-based connection method should be used. The connectionless P2P is also used when running Nomad under WinPE. This is because WinPE does not allow file sharing.

When using Nomad in WinPE when there are no pre-cached copies of the content on the local branch and multicast is not enabled, it is recommended that Nomad is configured in connectionless P2P mode. Enabling connectionless P2P mode ensures that multiple WinPE Nomad machines only download their content once and then share it locally.

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