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UNC vs HTTP and Package Checksums -- The Truth

Created: 29 Oct 2007 • Updated: 29 Oct 2007 • 1 comment
BRING's picture
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We all know that there are big Software Delivery packages in the world. We also know that sometimes network infrastructure lets us down. So what do you do when you have this monster of a software delivery package to get to clients, and the network hiccups in the middle. Well ... it depends!

Question

Is there anyway to get Software Delivery to resume a package download from an intermediate state, rather than restarting the package download over completely, when the package delivery mechanism is UNC? What about HTTP?

Answer

If you are using UNC, then the bad news is NO. This is called package checksumming and Checksums are only available via HTTP downloads, not UNC. There are two other things to note here.

  1. Once a solid network connection is restored,if your package contains multiple files, the download will resume at the end of the last file successfully delivered, but only via HTTP. This is not supported on UNC deliveries.
  2. If your package is one large single file, it will restart at the beginning.

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BBishop's picture

Actually, I believe UNC has checkpoint restart the same as HTTP. There are certain scenarios where either protocol may fail to do this if for example there is a file so large that it completely fills the cache the NS agent uses. But for files which won't do that, both HTTP and UNC provide file level caching so that a file will restart from the point at which it left off.

If NS development confirms that I am incorrect please let me know.

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