Backing up ISA Server configuration – The easy way!

If you want to be serious about your backup of ISA Server, go see Tom’s article.
If you want a quick way to backup and restore a single ISA Server or an array configuration, this is the article for you.

The Export/Import process will allow you to backup the following information:

  • Protocol Definitions
  • Client Address Sets
  • Destination Sets
  • Protocol Rules
  • Packet Filters
  • Site and Content rules
  •  Web Proxy Settings
  • Web Publishing Rules
  • Server Publishing Rules

I noticed that there are two things the script won’t do – VPN configuration and coffee.
It is very possible that the script misses more things; you create a check list and verify it before you risk your job on this kind of backup.

NOTE!!! I do not guaranty anything!   You can use this information at your own risk.

It all started after I found a script on the Internet.
The script was written by some guy named Ernest Chen from Microsoft.

The script can be downloaded as a zip file by right clicking here and selecting “Save target as”.


When running the script on an ISA Server, the following window will appear:

I recommend to enter the server name at this stage, and click OK.

The next window will ask for the target server name.

Since the simple name “ISA” is the default, I recommend selecting a different
name, such as “ISA_RESTORE”.


The reason for this is that the output of the backup process will be a VB script file.
Later, you will be able to edit the created file, and locate the server name you selected
as the “Target Computer” and change it to any other name you require (same as the original server, or a different name if you decide that your new ISA server installation will not use the same name).


The following Windows are displayed. Answer as needed.

A new ImportISASettings.vbs is born.

If you will edit the file, you will notice the three “Set” lines right after the beginning of the file:

Set Elements = ISA.Arrays(“ISA_RESTORE”).PolicyElements

Set APolicy = ISA.Arrays(“ISA_RESTORE”).ArrayPolicy

Set Publishing = ISA.Arrays(“ISA_RESTORE”).Publishing

The restoration server name in this case is ISA_RESTORE.
Those 3 lines are exactly the places that need to be changed in order to restore to a server with a different name.

To restore the configuration in case of a disaster, install Windows 2000/.NET server, join the server to the domain (if needed), Install ISA Server, name sure that the new server name in the ImportISASettings.vbs file match the newly installed server, and double click the file for the configuration to be imported back.

Good luck.

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