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Dated: Aug. 13, 2004

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The ability to provide accelerated and efficient Internet access to users of corporate networks is critical in today's business world. Faster Internet access reduces costs and allows users to be more productive in less time. The growth of a corporation also introduces new challenges: the capacity of corporate Web proxy/cache servers must also increase to continue providing users with a high level of service.

ISA Server uses Cache Array Routing Protocol (CARP) to enable a Web proxy array of virtually unlimited size for high availability and accelerated Web access.

CARP is a caching protocol with multiple strengths. First, CARP is a distributed protocol. When many servers are in an array together they form one large, logical cache, intelligently distributing the cache content among multiple servers. This means that no redundant content will be cached on any one server, enabling more efficient use of all servers. Next, CARP enables virtually unlimited scalability. You can add ISA Server computers to the Web proxy array one-by-one as necessary. Furthermore, clients do not need to be CARP "aware" to reap its benefits. CARP can accelerate any client in a mixed environment. Finally, the centralized management capabilities of ISA Server for arrays ease management and administration. Array members share the same configuration, generating a single logical entity and saving on scale out costs.

Internet Security and Acceleration (ISA) Server was built to enable companies to customize and extend their security and management features for optimum security and network performance by using a wide range of third-party solutions.

ISA Server comes in two editions, Standard Edition and Enterprise Edition. Both have the same rich feature set, although Standard Edition is a stand-alone server supporting a maximum of four processors. For large-scale deployments, server array support, multi-level policy, and computers with more than four processors, you will need ISA Server Enterprise Edition.

Microsoft Internet Security and Acceleration (ISA) Server 2000 offers secure Internet connectivity, fast Web access, and unified management capabilities by:

Providing an Additional Level of Security

ISA Server is an ICSA Certified enterprise firewall and secure application gateway designed to protect the enterprise network from hacker intrusion and malicious worms through application-level filtering. ISA Server provides packet filtering and stateful packet inspections, application-level filtering, advanced proxy architecture, and more. It never hurts to consults with someone associated with information security management.

ISA Server

Offering Industry-Leading Web cache Performance

Over 11 times faster than its predecessor, Microsoft Proxy Server 2.0, ISA Server demonstrated industry-leading Web cache performance in the Third Annual Cache-Off, finishing in the top tier in a field with 31 other entries and ranking first in the price/performance category.

Integrating with Microsoft Windows® 2000

ISA Server works in environments with mixed operating systems, but provides the greatest value when used with Windows. Taking advantage of Windows technology to integrate with Windows virtual private network (VPN) and Microsoft Active Directory®, ISA Server provides better manageability, faster performance, and granular access control.

Enabling You to Use Your Bandwidth Efficiently

ISA Server reduces network congestion and save on bandwidth costs by caching, serving content locally from the Web cache to reduce outbound Internet traffic.

Increasing Manageability

ISA Server restricts access by users and groups, application type, time of day, content type, destination sets, and more. Centralized management features make administering large distributed deployments, including branch offices, easy.

Enhancing Usability

ISA Server provides Graphical Task Pad administration and Setup Wizards, which make managing security, publishing servers, and controlling access simpler, enabling administrators to focus on business rules instead of intricate operational procedures.

Providing Integrated Services

In addition to the firewall and caching services, ISA Server provides logging, reporting, monitoring, integrated bandwidth control, and alerting capabilities. Competing products require that these services be purchased separately.

Increasing Extensibility

ISA Server provides an extensible architecture, enabling you to extend security functionality with add-on third party software for virus detection, content screening, site blocking, and more.

Improving Interoperability

Even though ISA Server must run on a Windows 2000-based server, it provides firewall and caching to mixed operating system environments.

Enhancing Scalability

ISA Server supports machines with multiple processors and scales out with server clustering while maintaining an exceptional level of performance.

Extensible, Open Platform

Security policies and imperatives vary from organization to organization. Traffic volume and content formats also pose unique concerns. No one product fits all security and performance needs, so ISA Server is built to be highly extensible. You will find a comprehensive software developer's kit (SDK) for in-house development, a large selection of third-party add-on solutions, and an extensible administration option

Fast Web Access

The Internet offers organizations exciting productivity benefits, but only to the extent that content access is fast and cost effective. The Internet Security and Acceleration (ISA) Server Web cache can minimize performance bottlenecks and save network bandwidth resources by serving locally cached Web content.

The ISA Server accelerates your Web access and saves network bandwidth with ultra-fast RAM caching and efficient disk input/output (I/O). With active caching, ISA Server studies data usage patterns and actively caches popular content. With the Cache Array Routing Protocol (CARP), you get seamless scaling and extreme efficiency when using an array of ISA Server computers. And, taking advantage of Microsoft Windows® 2000 Advanced Server, ISA Server scales for efficient, dynamic load balancing, fault-tolerance, and high availability. Use ISA Server caching capabilities to do the following:

  • Save bandwidth by reducing network traffic.
  • Provide faster Web access for users by serving objects locally rather than over the congested Internet.
  • Serve popular Web content on your cache to free up bandwidth for other content requests.
  • Distribute Web content worldwide efficiently and cost-effectively.

Secure Internet Connectivity

Connecting your networks to the Internet introduces security and productivity concerns that require your business' valuable technology resources. ISA Server provides your organization with a fast and comprehensive means to control access and monitor usage, freeing your network administrators to respond to your business' and customers' needs. ISA Server protects networks from unauthorized access, inspects traffic, and alerts network administrators to attacks.

ISA Server includes an extensible, multilayer enterprise firewall featuring security with packet-, circuit-, and application-level traffic screening, stateful inspection, broad application support, integrated virtual private networking (VPN), system hardening, integrated intrusion detection, smart application filters, transparency for all clients, advanced authentication, secure server publishing, and more.

Connecting networks and users to the Internet introduces security and productivity concerns. Internet Security and Acceleration (ISA) Server offers features that provide you a comprehensive means to control access and monitor usage. ISA Server protects networks from unauthorized access, inspects traffic, and alerts administrators to attacks.

ISA Server includes an extensible, multilayer enterprise firewall that includes things like security with packet-, circuit-, and application-level traffic screening, stateful inspection, broad application support, integrated virtual private networking (VPN) system hardening, integrated intrusion detection, smart application filters, advanced authentication, and secure server publishing. Use ISA Server security features to do the following:

  • Protect your network from unauthorized access.
  • Defend your Web servers from external attacks.
  • Inspect incoming and outgoing network traffic to ensure security.
  • Receive alerts of suspicious activity.

Internet Security and Acceleration (ISA) Server delivers secure, fast, manageable Internet connectivity. By combining enterprise firewall and high-performance Web cache functions, ISA Server provides a common management infrastructure that reduces network complexity, and your costs. Whether opting to deploy as an integrated system, or as a separate firewall and cache, you get the benefit of integrated management. Access policies are applied consistently to the firewall and the cache.

Security policies are easier to implement and enforce with ISA Server. Network and security managers can control access by user and group, application, content type, and schedule. Enterprise-level management augments local, or array-level, policy for company-wide rules, and to support roaming users. ISA Server is tightly integrated with Microsoft Windows® 2000 security, directory, virtual private networking (VPN), and bandwidth control with quality of service (QoS)-providing a consistent and powerful way to manage user access, configuration, and rules.

Those tasked with security and network management need reliable and easy ways to monitor the network. ISA Server provides detailed logging and customizable alerts to keep managers apprised of network security and performance issues. Graphical reports and remote administration allow network professionals to easily examine the performance and use of the server. Use unified management features to do the following:

  • Apply policy consistently to the firewall and cache.
  • Control access by user, group, application, content type, and schedule.
  • Reduce network complexity and costs.
  • Apply policy rules at the enterprise level, and at the array level.
  • Monitor network usage and performance.
  • Take advantage of Windows 2000 integration-including security, VPN, bandwidth control with QoS, and Microsoft Active Directory.


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