ISA Server 2006 SP1 Planned for This Summer
Four new features will help system administrators manage and test a company's Internet access security
Sometime this summer, Microsoft plans to roll out Service Pack 1 for its Internet Security and Acceleration (ISA) Server 2006 product, according to a team blog announcement issued today.
ISA Server 2006 is part of Microsoft's Forefront security solutions and is used to enable secure remote access over the Internet. It's an "integrated edge security gateway" that provides Internet security while also enabling access to company networks by users located outside the firewall, according to an overview description. The product is available in Standard and Enterprise editions and runs on Windows Server 2003 and Windows Server 2003 R2.
SP1 will have four new features for system administrators to help them manage and test a company's Internet access security.
A Configuration Change Tracking feature provides a log of configuration changes to ISA Server. It helps users see if a problem resulted from a server management or script change.
A Diagnostic Logging Query feature helps in troubleshooting by tracking a specific packet's route through the ISA Server's rules engine.
The Traffic Simulator feature lets the user simulate traffic flow based on the ISA Server's rules and see how it's processed. It can be used to check why an external user is denied access to an internal company network.
The last new feature planned for SP1 is a Web Publishing Rule Test Button, which "verifies that the configuration settings of the Web publishing rule correspond with the settings on the Web server," according to the announcement. It can be activated from wizards in Microsoft Exchange and SharePoint, among other methods.
SP1 also promises better support for network load balancing multicasting and will enable certificates with multiple subject alternative name entries, among other feature improvements.
While ISA Server 2006 is currently designed to work with Windows Server 2003, Microsoft is developing a new product called "Forefront Threat Management Gateway" that will be the next version of ISA Server, but based on Windows Server 2008 technology.
Microsoft plans to release more information about Forefront Threat Management Gateway later this year, but it is currently part of the security suite beta, code-named Stirling, that Microsoft announced in April.
An overview of Forefront Threat Management Gateway beta and a download link are available here. Some of new the features in that beta include installed Internet Information Services (IIS), 64-bit processor support and integration with Windows Essential Business Server.
Kurt Mackie is senior news producer for the 1105 Enterprise Computing Group.