IT Administrators Switch to Microsoft ISA Server 2000

REDMOND, Wash., Dec. 7, 2000 — IT administrators are more concerned about the security of their networks than ever before, and many have already decided to switch from firewall leaders to Microsoft® Internet Security and Acceleration (ISA) Server 2000, because of its enterprise-level security and superior manageability. ISA Server, a multilayer enterprise firewall and Web cache, is scheduled for release to manufacturing this month.

Industry Analysts and Customers Commit to ISA Server

In recent reports, analysts have endorsed ISA Server as a firewall ready to protect companies of any size. A full report can be viewed at .

Larry Leibrock, a security expert with more than 30 years of experience in the industry, agrees. He is the associate dean and chief technology officer for the Graduate School of Business and College of Business Administration at the University of Texas in Austin, and he has decided to add ISA Server to his department’s network even before the product is released.

Leibrock currently runs the Enterprise Edition of ISA Server on an array that supports more than 10,000 users. His reasons for switching to ISA Server are security, manageability and total cost of ownership.

“ISA Server is a robust firewall,”
Leibrock said.
“I really like the ability to define so many rules for Internet access and usage. Other firewalls on the market simply don’t have the manageability that ISA provides.”

Momentum Is Growing

“Hands down I recommend ISA over any other firewall to my security customers,”
said Rick Kingslan, senior consultant for Rainier Technology Inc. Kingslan works with companies to determine whether they are getting the best productivity out of their server and software products.
“ISA has functionality and usability advantages over Check Point and any other firewalls out there,”
Kingslan said, also noting that the integrated Web cache and firewall is a huge benefit to companies that were previously managing them separately.

“This early customer commitment is quite a testament to the industry respect that ISA is receiving from customers, analysts and partners,”
said Paul Flessner, senior vice president of .NET Enterprise Servers at Microsoft. Early adopters have requested ISA Server beta code via more than 50,000 downloads and 200,000 disks, and more than 20 industry partners have announced add-on products to extend and customize ISA Server to enterprise business needs in content security, access control, reporting and management tools. Release candidate code is currently available for free download from . ISA Server will be released to manufacturing by the end of December and will be broadly available in the first quarter of 2001.

Reasons for Switching to ISA Server

  • Security. According to Leibrock, ISA Server offers secure and fast Internet connectivity. The firewall offers multilayer security, including packet, circuit-level and application filtering. It combines a high-performance firewall with integrated virtual private networking (VPN) and intrusion detection for an integrated perimeter-defense solution. Application filters provide an additional level of security for popular protocols, such as the ability to block incoming SMTP mail based on keywords in the message title or to provide read-only access to FTP servers.

  • Manageability. The switch to ISA Server has made Leibrock’s technicians happier.
    “When we deployed another firewall, I had to send people away for a week-long training course to learn a nonintuitive and difficult interface,”
    he said.
    “Now they are able to grasp the product in a day and get down to business.” ISA Server’s familiar Microsoft Windows® operating system-based design cuts learning time down significantly. Even administrators who have never configured a firewall can manage the simple setup and deployment. ISA Server can interoperate in mixed environments, work with clients and servers on any platform, and provide additional integration with Windows 2000- and its Active Directory™
    service-based installations.

  • Value. “ISA Server is more cost effective than the firewall leaders, and I am confident in the level of security that it provides,”
    said Leibrock. The Enterprise Edition of ISA Server has an estimated retail price of $5,999 per processor. The Standard Edition, offering the same security and performance without the scalability and enterprise policy features, has an estimated retail price of $1,499 per processor for small installations. Kingslan noted that ISA Server provides integrated capabilities that are available for other products at an extra cost. These include caching, reporting and bandwidth management, which can add thousands of dollars to the price of even a small installation of other firewalls.

ISA Is a Recognized Performance Winner

In October, The Measurement Factory Inc., of Boulder, Colo., applied the Web Polygraph test to 31 caches from 15 different organizations. ISA Server was rated No. 1 in price/performance and received high honors in throughput (requests per second) and hit ratio. The official Cache-Off results and independent analysis are available at .

About Microsoft ISA Server

Microsoft ISA Server is an enterprise firewall and Web cache server that enables IT administrators for businesses of all sizes to provide controlled, secure and fast Internet access for their organization. Building on the security and manageability of the Microsoft Windows 2000 platform, ISA Server provides a sophisticated multilevel enterprise firewall and a high-performance Web cache to control, secure and accelerate business on the Internet.

About Microsoft .NET Enterprise Servers

The Microsoft .NET Enterprise Servers are a comprehensive family of server applications for quickly building, deploying and managing integrated, Web-based solutions. Designed to deliver mission-critical performance, the .NET Enterprise Servers are built from the ground up to provide the foundation for next-generation XML-enabled applications. The servers include Microsoft SQL Server™ 2000, Host Integration Server 2000, Exchange 2000 Server, BizTalk™
Server 2000, Application Center 2000, Commerce Server 2000, Internet Security and Acceleration Server 2000, and Mobile Information 2001 Server.

About Microsoft

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq
) is the worldwide leader in software, services and Internet technologies for personal and business computing. The company offers a wide range of products and services designed to empower people through great software — any time, any place and on any device.

Microsoft, Windows, Active Directory and BizTalk are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Microsoft Corp. in the United States and/or other countries.

The names of actual companies and products mentioned herein may be the trademarks of their respective owners.

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