On Tuesday, Microsoft announced that its long-delayed Internet Acceleration and Security (ISA) Server 2004 was now generally available to the public. ISA Server is the company's software server-based firewall product; this latest version includes much simpler management tools and new application-layer filtering capabilities, according to Microsoft.
"We are incredibly excited about this release," says Jonathan Perera, the senior director of product management for Microsoft's Security Business and Technology Unit. "Our customers have asked for ways to better control the cost of network security while also enabling them to share critical business applications over the Internet. ISA Server 2004 provides the advanced application protection and ease-of-use that make it possible for companies to achieve both goals."
For the first time, ISA Server will be accompanied by a set of hardware releases that combine the software product with appliance-like servers that can be purchased as an integrated set; companies such as Hewlett-Packard (HP) will be offering the ISA Server-based server products. Only ISA Server 2004 Standard Edition ($1499 per processor) is available now; the