At ZCM 10 training this past week, I ran into an admin who told me that
they stopped using NALCACHE and it dramatically sped up the refresh
periods for NAL. He mentioned that it affects the "Distribute Always"
setting, but I do not quite recall the specifics. They did this by
deleting the C:\nalcache folder and then creating an emtpy file with the
same name, which effectively disables the NALCACHE since NAL cannot
create\write to the folder C:\nalcache if a file named C:\nalcache exists.

I am very interested in doing something like this, because on-campus NAL
refreshes currently take about 1 minute 30 seconds, and off-campus can
take up to 5 minutes.

We do not really use any snapshots. We basically use NAL to kick off
setup.exe for applications like Office, AutoCAD, etc. We don't force
cache apps or anything like that.

Currently, all (or the vast majority) of our apps are set to "Distribute
Always". I think we set them that way because some of our apps did not
seem to increment to the newer versions when we incremented the version
number until we set them to "Distribute Always".

Can anyone recommend for me what to do here? Remove the NALCACHE
folder? Disable "Distribute Always"? Both? Neither? Something else?

I am looking through the ConsoleOne help docs, and I found this:

Distribute Always

By default, Application Launcher makes the distribution changes
associated with the Application object at the following times:
The first time the application is launched on a workstation.
The first time the application is launched after the application's
version number has been changed.

To force Application Launcher to redistribute the application each time
it is launched, select Distribute Always.

This option is useful to ensure that all application settings and files
are updated every time the application runs. If the user has a NAL cache
directory on his or her local machine, the files and settings are
distributed from the NAL cache directory. If the user does not have a
NAL cache directory (for example, the user is running Application
Launcher through a terminal server client session) or if writing to the
cache has been disabled for the user (User object > ZENworks tab >
Launcher Configuration page > Enable Writing to Cache option), the
application files and settings are updated from Novell eDirectoryTM. To
force a distribution from eDirectory even if the user has a NAL cache
directory on his or her local machine, you need to change the
application's version number or have individual users right-click the
Application object and click Verify.

If you need only specific files or settings to be distributed each time,
you can update these on a case-by-case basis. For example, if you want
to always distribute a particular registry key and value, you can set
the Distribute Always option on the Registry Settings page (Distribution
Options tab) for that particular key and value.

Because this setting causes all application files and settings to be
distributed each time, it overrides the Distribute Always option on the
Registry Settings, INI Settings, Application Files, Icons/Shortcuts, and
Text Files pages (Distribution Options tab).