As my first (of hopefully many) contributions to the ISA Server team blog, I want to first introduce myself to the community. My name is David B. Cross and I am the new Product Unit Manager for the ISA Server engineering organization. For many of the community who do not know me, I have spent my last 8 years in the Windows Security organization of the company working in several notable areas such as PKI, smartcards and Kerberos authentication. If anyone is interested, Jeff Jones posted an interview with me some time back: http://blogs.technet.com/security/archive/2007/02/12/profiles-in-security-david-b-cross.aspx.
Now – on to why I am blogging today…Why is this a new era for ISA Server? We have been very busy for the past year and we also have been fairly quiet on the messaging front of our plans. Well, the time is over, and I am excited to say that we can announce what we have been up to! Today we (publicly) announced our next-generation network security product, the Forefront Threat Management Gateway (TMG), a comprehensive network protection solution. Forefront TMG is the future version of the Microsoft Internet Security & Acceleration Server (ISA Server) and will extend the capabilities of ISA Server with new features and security technologies. I know many of you have loved and embraced the ISA Server name and brand for a long time – but it is time for new naming, new logos, blogs, books and of course new technology directions.
Forefront TMG will be available as both a standalone solution but also part of new integrated suites to be released in the future such as the Microsoft Windows Essential Business Server, the recently announced server solution designed for mid-sized companies due out later this year as well as the Forefront “Stirling” suite announced today, a unified protection solution that combines Forefront client, server, and edge security solutions with a single management and policy layer. A “first look” preview of Stirling Beta 1 was shown at RSA this week. It is also available for download.
Why am I so excited about this announcement? To begin, it is the first version of ISA Server that will fully support the Windows Vista and Server 2008 platforms. It also will natively support the 64-bit Windows Server platform which provides significant scalability and security capabilities to the Threat Management Gateway. The three other main areas of enhancement we are announcing today are the following:
1. Multiple Threat Protection: We will enable numerous new protection technologies and capabilities, including integration of the Microsoft Anti-Virus Engine for protection against Internet-based malware and other threats. As part of
2. Simplified Management: Forefront TMG will include new set-up wizards, improved management interface and enhanced reporting. As part of the Stirling suite, Forefront TMG will be part of the
3. Secure Connectivity: Forefront TMG will build on current ISA Server capability around secure Internet access and other connectivity features.
More details about the features in Forefront TMG will be available with the public beta scheduled for the second half of 2008. I wish I could share more details and plans now, but that will come with time. I promise to personally keep you updated as our plans and product evolve to keep you updated here. We really look forward to your feedback on our plans and our first beta. I am sure you will be as excited as we are in finally announcing this next generation of our network security product line. Stay tuned to this channel!
David B. Cross
Product Unit Manager