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Microsoft Releases New ISA Server Edition

Microsoft Corp. has segregated its well-received Internet Security and Acceleration (ISA) Server into two different products with Release Candidate 2. The firewall and caching server RC-2 is being shipped to early adopter customers this week in two flavors: Enterprise Edition (EE) and Standard Edition (SE).

ISA’s chief functions - security, caching, management, performance and extensibility – remain the same for both versions. It’s what you can run it on that’s different. The SE version is limited to one machine with a maximum of four processors, and local policy only. The EE version has no hardware limitations, supports enterprise- and array-level policies, and multi-server arrays with centralized management.

Naturally, the beefier version comes with a heftier price: $5,999 per processor for EE, and $1,499 per processor for SE.

ISA Server has received a number of positive reviews in the press, including one from ENT. It also did well in the recent Measurement Factory Inc.’s Cache-Off, considered one of the industry’s premier competitions. In overall requests/second per $1,000, Microsoft’s ISA SE entry came in at the top with 145, and finished in the top 5 for both raw performance and bandwidth savings.

The ISA beta code was released in June, and the full product is still on schedule to be released by the end of the year, according to Microsoft.

The announcement of the ISA versions contains some irony for Microsoft, coming as it does on the heels of the recent hacking of Microsoft’s internal network. After all, the “S” in ISA stands for Security. –Keith Ward

About the Author

Scott Bekker is editor in chief of Redmond Channel Partner magazine.

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