Remote Administration of ISA Server 2004

Remote Administration of ISA Server 2004
by Greg Mulholland

For more information about Windows Terminal Services, please visit

If you are like me and despise switching between eight or more Terminal Services sessions, even on a dual monitor setup. Then you will probably be aware of the “lovely” ability to install remote admin tools on your XP or other desktop machines. For those of you who have never attempted it or would like to be able to do it on ISA 2004, here it is.

First and foremost, we have to enable the server to be administered remotely. These steps will need to be done either at the console or through Terminal Services or mental telepathy if you have that enabled. To edit the System Policy we need to open our ISA Management Console and right-click on the Firewall Policy node and as the name suggests, choose Edit System Policy.


As you go down the list you will see a group called Remote Management and under that you will see Microsoft Management Console (MMC). You must put a tick in the checkbox in this option to enable it.

In the FROM tab you can specify one or more computers for which you would like to enable Remote Administration from. Here I have shown that you could either allow all users from the “internal” network or just one or more single computers.

You will also need to specify who the ISA Firewall Administrators are. To do this, in the General node choose “Delegate User Roles and Permissions”. From there you can add or edit your firewall administrators.

Excellent, so we have configured our firewall for remote administration. Now, obviously, we need to install the tools onto the local computer. To do this we use the ISA Server 2004 CD. Just run the setup the usual way on you’re the local computer, however, when you get to the menu options you should choose “Custom Setup”.

In the Custom Setup you should choose only the ISA Server Management and hit “Next”

The necessary files will be installed and you will be on your way to remote admin glory, (yes, it’s a true form of glory).

Now the only thing that is left to do is open your ISA Management Console and go to the Action menu and choose “Connect to”. Type in or search for your firewall using credentials if you have too and viola. You’re in!!

Easy as pie!!!!

For more information about Windows Terminal Services, please visit

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