Understanding the History of ISA Server 2004
Although ISA Server has only recently begun to gain wide industry acceptance, it actually has a long history relative to other computer products. The original version of this product, Proxy Server 1.x/2.x, was geared more toward web caching and proxy capabilities, but
Outlining Initial Microsoft Security Solutions
In the early days of networking, before the wide acceptance of the Internet, the focus of security was more directed toward making sure that files and folders on a network were kept safe from
While this was occurring, Microsoft products were changing and evolving to match the computing needs of the time, and focus was placed on making Microsoft products embrace the Internet. Focus was put on the need to provide enhanced access for clients to the Internet. As a direct result of this, the development of a product to provide web proxy capabilities to Microsoft
Exploring a New ProductProxy Server
In 1996, the Internet browser wars between the Netscape Navigator product and Microsoft's Internet Explorer were in full swing, and Microsoft was constantly looking for ways to improve the capabilities of Internet Explorer. Netscape had begun to sell a web proxy product, which optimized Internet web browsing by caching the images and text from web pages to local servers, enabling clients to access them quickly. At this time, connections to the Internet were much more expensive, relatively speaking, and the need to take full advantage of the bandwidth provided to an organization created the need for products to optimize these connections.
In direct response to these needs, Microsoft released the first version (1.0) of Proxy Server, a new product to provide web proxy capabilities for clients. The capabilities of version 1.0 of the product were significantly less than those of the Netscape or other proxy products available at this time, however, and industry support for the product was lacking.
Following closely on the release of version 1.0 was the 2.0 version, which equalized many of the disparities between Microsoft's Proxy Server product and the
Unleashing a New Model: the Internet Security and Acceleration Server 2000
Although Proxy Server 2.0 provided for a wide array of Security features, it did not enjoy broad industry acceptance as a security device for one reason or another. Microsoft wanted to focus more attention on the product's security capabilities, so it added more to the 3.0 version, and rebranded it as the Internet Security and Acceleration (ISA) Server 2000. This rebranding directed attention to its security capabilities, while still giving a nod to the web acceleration component, the caching capabilities.
ISA Server 2000 introduced an impressive new array of features, nearly all of which focused on turning it into a full-functioned security device. This version of the product was the first that marketed it as a firewall by and of itself. It was this claim that was greeted with skepticism by the security community, given the somewhat shaky track record that Microsoft products had at that time.
The politics of the security community being what they were, ISA Server 2000 faced an