As you might know, we've been giving increasing coverage of the IAG 2007 on ISAserver.org over the past couple of months. You might wonder why this was happening. Until now, I couldn't tell you. But now I can tell you the reason! The reason why is IAG 2007 Service Pack 2. IAG 2007 SP2 is a big thing.
What makes IAG 2007 SP2 a big thing? Because it's now going to be available as a downloadable .vhd virtual appliance that you can run on Hyper-V. Before IAG SP2, the only option for purchasing at IAG 2007 SSL VPN solution was on a hardware appliance. There was no software option available that allowed you down and test the software for a while, like you do with most other Microsoft software. IAG 2007 SP2 brings the IAG in line with the Microsoft philosophy of giving administrators the ability to test the software , bang on the tires, and find that they like it and make suggestions to management that they should purchase it.
The downloadable IAG .vhd will make it possible for you to follow along with IAG articles published on ISAServer.org. Before SP2, the audience for the such articles was relatively small, since only people who had a hardware appliance in hand would benefit from these articles.
Sure, you could ask for a demo unit, but when it comes to testing and playing with the software to see if it's something you might like to get more serious about, requesting, unboxing, racking, hooking up, unracking, unhooking, reboxing, and sending back the demo unit is a bit of a hassle. The downloadable .vhd will take away that hassle and allow thousands, maybe tens of thousands, Microsoft network admins learn about, test, and eventually deploy IAG SSL VPN gateways. And if they like it, they might end up going for the IAG hardware appliances to get the additional performance and security benefits that these appliances provide.
The IAG virtual appliance is the really big thing, but there are a number of other good things that IAG SP2 brings to the table. Check these out:
- Simplified Deployment There's a new Getting Started Wizard that makes IAG easier to install and configure. You'll be up and running soon after standing up your VM
- Improved Web Browser Support IAG was focused mainly on Internet Explorer in the past. With IAG SP2, you'll see the same cache-cleaning and endpoint detection security that you have with Internet Explorer with Firefox (on both Windows and Linux) and Safari on the Mac OS. Now you can support a wider variety of users with your IAG SSL VPN remote access solution
- Integration with Microsoft Dynamics CRM 4.0 Now you can place your CRM 4.0 in the datacenter and allow only pre-authenticated connections, using advanced authentication such as two-factor authentication (for example, Smart Card), to connect to the CRM site through the IAG portal.
- Integration with Microsoft Office Communicator Web Access 2007 IAG SP2 includes new support for Office Communicator Web Access 2007. Your users who can't install or are not at a computer that has the full Communicator client will now be able to securely access Office Communicator Web Access through the IAG portal
- Enhanced Support for Kerberos Constrained Delegation. Support for KCD was added with IAG SP1, but it was a monster to setup and configure, so much so that many just gave up and choose to bypass the benefits of KCD. No more! IAG SP2 supports an easier setup and configuration process for KCD and enhances IAG abilities to take advantage of KCD.
- Roll up of post-SP1 Updates. IAG SP2 also provides you with all the post IAG SP1 updates. These updates were focused on enhanced support for SharePoint publishing
- Support for more non-Microsoft Applications. That's right! IAG continues to support non-Microsoft applications and evens adds some with the SP2 release. These include IBM Lotus Sametime 8.0 and IBM Lotus iNotes version 8.0 and higher
I don't have the download links yet, but will let you know when they're available. Then we'll get set on the task of showing your how to setup and configure your virtual IAG appliances and start with articles on configuring portals and publishing a variety of applications.
Thomas W Shinder, M.D., MCSE
Sr. Consultant / Technical Writer
Prowess Consulting www.prowessconsulting.com
PROWESS CONSULTING documentation | integration | virtualization
MVP — Forefront Edge Security (ISA/TMG/IAG)