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SBS is losing ISA, and EBS is requiring it!

Posted: Saturday, April 19th, 2008 by natalie

Very interesting, heated discussions going on here at SMB Summit 2008, in Dallas! Lots of "strong" opinions… 🙂

Here is one of the rubs….Small Business Server (SBS) 2008 (aka. "Cougar")  is dropping the ISA product, straight out! A mixed reaction from the group when that news was dropped yesterday during the dedicated sessions on the topic (the "boos" were very audible, from the partners who love this product in SBS). Single NIC implementations will be the focused design of the new version of SBS. While there were some unhappy folks, the overwhelming attitude was welcoming acceptance.

On the other hand, the new Essential Business Server (EBS) product, (aka "Centro") which targets the core Mid-Market space of organizations of up to 250-300 users/computers, will REQUIRE the newest ISA implementation, which is now known as, Forefront Threat Management Gateway (TMG…leave it to Microsoft to change up one ridiculous acronym for another one). The standard EBS implementation, which will be a three server deployment, consists of a Management/Monitoring Server – running Windows Server 2008 and System Center Essentials (SCE…"I know, I know, stop with the acronyms already); a Messaging Server – running W2K8 and Exchange 2007; and a Security server – running W2K8 and you guessed it, ISA, oops, I mean, "TMG".

After a ton of "back and forth" with the Microsoft Team onsite here, the crowd hopefully got the idea that these new compiled offerings while sharing the brand of "Essential Server" Family, are not intended for the same client base. Period. The same compelling reasons that motivate Microsoft to pull ISA from SBS, drive their decisions to include it in this 1.0 version of EBS….namely Partner and User Feedback!  While I understand the learning curve involved in learning ISA, (damn it, Marcus..say TMG!) it is important to know that it is a wonderful product for what it does…protect data. The Mid-Market tends to have a greater appreciation for this fact. Given that the EBS product promises to properly publish all of the services that we know and love (OWA, Outlook Anywhere – RPC/HTTPS, RWW, ActiveSync, etc) right out of the wizard, there is really is little to complain about with this new product…..so far.

I want to get my hands on this code and have signed up for all the partner/public beta access, I could…

…ah yes, change cometh forth this way. Ready thy self !


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