Microsoft Launches ISA Firewall Product

By Jaikumar Vijayan, Computerworld |  Security

Microsoft Corp.'s new Internet Security and Acceleration (ISA) server software, announced earlier this month, should give users a fairly robust firewall and Web-caching technology, analysts said.

ISA, which Microsoft last week billed as its first product aimed purely at the security market, is a replacement for its entry-level MS Proxy Server.

The new technology is designed to combine the ability to protect a network from unauthorized access with an auditing capability that lets administrators inspect incoming and outgoing network traffic, according to Microsoft.

In addition, new Web-caching technology that's available with the server boosts overall application performance, the company said.

Beyond the Enterprise

The server is available in two versions: a standard edition that costs $1,499 per CPU, and a more scalable enterprise version that runs on larger servers that starts at $5,999 per CPU.

ISA, which runs as a server application on top of Windows 2000 Server, should give users an enterprise-class firewall, said Laura DiDio, an analyst at Cambridge, Mass.-based research firm Giga Information Group Inc.

"It will likely be of most appeal to Microsoft's installed base, but it can be up there with anything else in the market," DiDio said.

The product is designed to be used on networks running many operating systems, DiDio noted, and doesn't require an all-Windows environment to work.

ISA is one of eight Microsoft. Net server offerings. Others include Application Center 2000, BizTalk Server 2000 and Commerce Server 2000.

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