Yesterday, Microsoft announced that its Internet Security and Acceleration (ISA) Server 2000, the company's first security product, will ship this month. ISA Server--3 years in development--replaces and enhances the Proxy Server product and offers enterprise firewall features for security and Web-caching functionality. Microsoft Senior Vice President Paul Flessner describes ISA Server as a key member of the .NET Enterprise Servers family.
  
"With the release of ISA Server, Microsoft is taking a large step toward enabling business on the Internet," says Flessner. "We built ISA Server from the ground up as an enterprise firewall to demonstrate our commitment to secure computing and to our customers."
  
Several enterprises used ISA Server beta code as part of an early adopter program, and third-party testing facilities and security experts tested and benchmarked the product to determine its strengths. Microsoft reports that ISA Server passed all the tests--including the ICSA Labs firewall certification test, the de facto standard for firewall security, which the product passed in only 30 days. "That's a short time for certification of a product and an impressive accomplishment for Microsoft," says George Japak, vice president of ICSA Labs, who notes that some products take years to pass the certification. 
  
ISA Server is available in two editions: Standard, which costs $1500 per CPU, and a more scalable Enterprise Edition at a hefty $6000 per CPU. Customers who are interested in an evaluation version should visit the Microsoft Web site.