Microsoft Internet Security and Acceleration (ISA) Server 2000 is a legacy firewall and Web cache server that integrates with Windows 2000 for policy-based security and straightforward management of internetworking. ISA Server provides three modes: a high-performance Web cache server, a multi-layer firewall, and an integrated mode combining both firewall and cache. The cache improves network performance and end-user experience by storing frequently requested Web information, while the multilayer firewall provides enterprise-class security. The firewall screens communication at the IP packet, circuit, and application layers. It controls access policy and the routing of network traffic. The cache and firewall can be deployed separately on dedicated servers, or used together on the same physical server.
The ISA Server product line has been rebranded by Microsoft as Forefront Threat Management Gateway (Forefront TMG), which incorporates enhanced security and management features. Forefront TMG has itself been discontinued, and the firewall security requirements provided by these software platforms are now typically managed by dedicated physical appliances from companies like Cisco, Barracuda, Check Point, Juniper, SonicWall and WatchGuard. (See Cisco ASA firewalls with Firepower Services integration.) Progent's firewall consultants can help you maintain your current ISA Server solution or evaluate the business benefit of upgrading to an modern firewall system. If you choose to upgrade, Progent can assist your company to design and implement an efficient migration, test and tune your new firewall solution, train your management staff, and provide ongoing online and on-premises consulting and troubleshooting support.
ISA Server 2000's management tools simplify policy definition, traffic routing, server publishing, and monitoring. ISA Server 2000 builds on Windows 2000 security, directory, VPN, and bandwidth control. Whether deployed as separate cache and firewall servers, or in integrated mode, ISA Server 2000 improves Internet access speed and worker productivity while enforcing policies for network security and Internet usage.
Internet Security and Acceleration (ISA) Server 2000 Architecture
ISA Server 2000 integrates robust firewall and caching capabilities'providing performance and security enhancements to networks that connect to the Internet.
Firewall and Security
ISA Server 2000 serves as a firewall, providing secure Internet communication by preventing unauthorized network access. The firewall functionality is transparent to the other parties in the communication path. The intranet user is unaware that the firewall is interceding, unless the user attempts to access a service or a site that has been not been approved by the administrator. Users interpret accessed Internet Web server requests from ISA Server as if they originated from the client applications.
The ISA Server 2000 firewall supports common Internet protocols including HTTP, FTP, Internet Relay Chat (IRC), H.323, Transparent HTTP, Microsoft Windows Media technologies, RealAudio, RealVideo, and mail and news protocols. It is also extensible for the creation of additional application filters.
Caching and Acceleration
ISA Server allows distributed caching using multiple ISA servers. Distributing the cache load allows scaling beyond what a single server can provide, balancing the load, and providing fault tolerance if a cache server is unavailable. Distributed caching can be implemented with arrays, chains, or a combination of both. ISA Server uses the Cache Array Routing Protocol (CARP), a scalable, efficient, and flexible architecture that allows multiple servers to act as a single cache without duplicating content.
Using policy-based access control with ISA Server 2000 provides you with flexible policy management based on users and groups, client protocols, schedules, sites, and content groups and protocols. Leveraging Microsoft Active Directory service and enterprise-level policies, administrators can create and apply policies once and distribute them globally to many servers. ISA Server 2000 includes a graphical user interface (GUI), based on the Microsoft Management Console (MMC), with graphical task pads and wizards for common activities. Detailed logging, alerting, monitoring, and reporting help administrators understand the status, usage, and performance of the server.
How Progent's Consultants Can Help You with Microsoft ISA Server 2000
Firewall configuration and security policies are complex and can have pronounced impacts on worker productivity. Progent's ISA Server 2000 experts offer extensive practical experience designing and supporting security solutions for businesses of all sizes and network environments that range from simple to highly complex. Progent can help you manage and maintain a legacy ISA Server 2000 firewall and Progent's CISM and CISSP-certified security professionals can help you develop and deploy a comprehensive security strategy that incorporates hardware and software products from multiple vendors and follows industry best practices in developing company-wide security policies and processes. Progent can also help you plan and execute a smooth ISA Server 2000 to Forefront Threat Management Gateway 2010 migration so that you can take advantage of Microsoft's latest firewall technology.
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In order to ask Progent about professional expertise for Microsoft ISA Server 2004 or Forefront TMG 2010 integration, phone 1-800-993-9400 or see Contact Progent.