Microsoft Preps Security Server for Win2000

ORLANDO, FLA. (06/05/2000) - Microsoft Corp. is developing a security server that provides firewall and caching services for Windows 2000 users, a company official disclosed today at a briefing session during TechEd.

The product, yet unannounced and called the Internet Security and Acceleration (ISA) Server 2000, will soon be available in beta version for download at the company's Web site, said Keren Master, group program manager of Microsoft's ISA Server team. The ISA Server could be announced as soon as tomorrow, Master suggested. "Watch for the news tomorrow," she said at the beginning of the briefing.

The product is similar to Microsoft's existing Proxy Server, which is designed for use with Windows NT, the predecessor to Windows 2000, officials said.

However, ISA Server has more features and is optimized for use with Windows 2000, they said.

The ISA Server's firewall functionality will allow network managers to protect their company's data from outside intruders by controlling access and traffic, Master said. Its caching features will let companies store frequently-accessed Web pages locally and thus increase Internet browsing speed for users, reduce traffic on the network and lower workload stress on Web servers, she said.

The product also comes with a management and administration console and supports a variety of protocols, such as HTTP (Hypertext Transfer Protocol), SMTP (Simple Mail Transfer Protocol) and streaming media, Master said. It also supports integration of VPNs (virtual private networks).

It features wizards to help ease its configuration and installation, and lets administrators tailor and extend its functions in a variety of ways through the use of application programming interfaces, she said.

The ISA Server keeps a log of events and can be configured to launch specific actions under predefined circumstances, such as sending an e-mail to an administrator if it detects a system problem or running a script if it detects a policy violation, she said. The product is able to create activity reports based on statistics such as what Web sites users are visiting and which users are the most active, she said.

Master said that Microsoft plans to "soon" publish detailed information about the product at http://www.microsoft.com/isaserver/. TechEd, an event for Microsoft developers being attended by about 14,000 people this year, runs through Thursday. More information about the event can be found at http://msdn.microsoft.com/events/teched/defaultm.asp/.

Microsoft, in Redmond, Washington, can be found at http://www.microsoft.com.

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