Microsoft ISA Server 2000 Bits Are Shipped

ENT has learned that Microsoft’s Internet Security and Acceleration Server 2000 has been released to manufacturing, and will be commercially available within six weeks.

Lucian Lui, lead product manager for ISA Server, said the product is “stamped, and on the way to the process of getting out to channels. The bits are shipped.” RTM happened last night, Lui confirmed.

Lui stressed that Microsoft sees ISA Server as an enterprise-class firewall and Web caching product. “We spent three years really building this product out for security, performance and manageability in a way so there are no tradeoffs” between performance and security, Lui says. “Customers need all three.”

Although no forecasts are available yet, Lui says he expects sales to be brisk. “If we look at the firewall market, [industry sales are] estimated at $1 billion in 2000. It’s a large market, and the need for security even more important now, with everyone doing more work on Internet.”

Lui emphasized that ISA Server will work in Windows-centric or mixed computing environments. Those in Windows shops can take advantage of its ability to do user-level, instead of just IP-based, authentication.

Those out of the Windows loop can also make use of ISA Server. “We understand that firewalls and caches need to work in a mixed environment. ISA can be your only Windows box in a heterogenous environment, so if you have Unix or Linux boxes, you can still be protected by ISA Server,” Lui says.

Thus far, there have been 59,000 downloads of the beta code, and feedback has been overwhelmingly positive, Lui says. The standard edition of ISA Server 2000 will be $1,499 per processor, and $5,999 for the enterprise edition of the software.

Microsoft has never been known for their firewall products, but Giga Information Group thinks Redmond may have a winner on its hands. “The ISA Server is a legitimate, competitive corporate firewall,” they write. “Microsoft finally has a serious firewall that may be used with confidence.” - Keith Ward

About the Author

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