I wanted to publish a follow-on to Jim’s enthusiastic post about our public beta. We have reached an important and critical milestone in the release of Forefront Threat Management Gateway (TMG), our comprehensive network protection solution. For those of you catching up on the TMG line, 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. 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 upcoming Forefront “Stirling” security suite
Today, I am announcing that Beta 2 is available for public download and evaluation. This is a significant change from Beta 1 – the content and feature set is almost too rich too blog in a single posting to be honest. But I will try…
We really have 6 unique value propositions with this release that really emphasize our comprehensive approach to network protection:
• Control network policy access at the edge (Firewall)
• Protect users from web browsing threats (Web Client Protection)
• Protect users from E-mail threats (Email Protection)
• Protect desktops and servers from intrusion attempts (NIS)
• Enable users to remotely access corporate resources (VPN, Secure Web Publishing)
• Simplified management (Deployment)
From a “what’s new” perspective in Beta 2 from the Beta 1 release, we have really polished and completed a lot of features. On the firewall side, we have added key components such as VoIP traversal (SIP), enhanced NAT and ISP Link Redundancy. Combined with our NAP (Network Access Protection) integration with the VPN functionality, the firewall and remote access capabilities are richer than ever. On the web client protection area, we now have fully functional HTTP Anti-virus/spyware scanning and detection as well as HTTPS forward inspection. This provides an extremely rich secure web gateway for the clients that protects all web clients regardless of platform when going through the TMG proxy.
Some of the new areas we have added include a secure email relay deployment option providing email protection at the edge through Exchange Server and Forefront Security for Exchange integration to provide a hardened edge based anti-virus and anti-spam solution. Also we are excited to preview is our new Forefront Network Inspection System (NIS). Forefront NIS is a unique intrusion detection and response solution that integrates with the Forefront codename Stirling security suite to provide security assessment and responses.
Last, but not least, our deployment and management capabilities have received a complete upgrade. Everything from a UI and configuration wizards facelift for easier installation and maintenance, but a completely new array management infrastructure to ensure distributed enterprise deployments of multiple TMG installations.
In the end, I will let the beta speak for itself – we would love to hear your feedback on the feature set and quality in your environments and scenarios. The download is available now and public for everyone to install today – I welcome you to give it a test run!
David B. Cross
Product Unit Manager