Today we are excited to announce the availability of Forefront Threat Management Gateway 2010 Release Candidate. Please go ahead and download to try it out. We are looking forward to receiving your feedback! While the Beta 3 release was feature complete and no new major features were introduced in the Release Candidate, there are several important improvements that will certainly justify the effort of upgrading your existing deployments to Forefront TMG 2010 Release Candidate. This release is all about security, reliability, performance, telemetry integration and overall solution completeness. This is our final public release prior to our RTM (release to manufacturing).
Security: To make the product ready for prime time, as always, we invested heavily in the security design reviews, testing and validation of the product’s security hardening. Threat modeling, telemetry analysis, penetration and fuzz testing of the product’s modules are only part of the efforts we invested in for keeping the product secure and our customers safe. While following the Microsoft Security Development Lifecycle might be time consuming, it provides an excellent return on investment. We are fully committed to maintaining the high standards our customers are expecting from us with Forefront TMG 2010 and beyond.
Reliability and Performance: In addition to rigorous stress and performance testing conducted by our team, Forefront TMG 2010 RC is deployed at three major Microsoft sites located around the world in Haifa, Bellevue and Redmond. More than 20,000 employees are already protected by TMG and these deployments have already accumulated more than 5,000 hours of runtime, performing extremely well under heavy load. As you can expect, Microsoft employees are avid users of the Internet and susceptible to attacks like any other company. URL filtering, malware inspection and Network Intrusion System are all deployed internally to give us firsthand experience with performance, supportability, compatibility and reliability aspects of these important yet resource-demanding protection layers. We are working on capacity planning materials and tools that will be available close to the final release date.
Telemetry: In the world of constantly changing threats, it is extremely important to stay ahead of the curve and Microsoft Telemetry Service plays an important role in providing our response team with samples of malware and exploit attempts. By joining Microsoft Telemetry Service you will help us provide better protection for your business as well as for other customers using Forefront TMG. The Release Candidate is fully integrated with Microsoft Telemetry and Reputation services to ensure swift responses to emerging threats. Besides, it is heartwarming for the team to see the rising number of prevented malware incidents reported daily through telemetry channels by TMG deployments worldwide.
Completeness: The final product will be released later this year and you can expect it to behave exactly like the Release Candidate. You can install Forefront TMG 2010 RC today and upgrade to a licensed version once available without changing the configuration of your deployment.
Forefront TMG 2010 Release Candidate is available for downloading here and you are welcome to start deploying and testing in your environment. We want to thank you for the great feedback we’ve received so far, and we are going to continue listening – at this stage we are interested in hearing about any last-minute critical issues related to security, stability and functionality specific to your environment, hardware or configuration. The team will share more about features and improvements introduced in Forefront TMG 2010 overall. I recommend checking back every few days for updates.
Lead Program Manager, Release Manager for Forefront TMG 2010