Many IT pros know that Microsoft practices “dog fooding” by deploying its products for employees to use during development and beyond. Respondents to our survey wanted to know how Internet Security and Acceleration (ISA) Server 2004 is used within Microsoft and what IT pros could learn from the company’s experience. Joel Sloss, senior product manager on Microsoft's ISA development team, said, “ISA 2000 has long been in use. We’ve been working closely with the Microsoft IT group on ISA 2004, as well. ISA 2004 is deployed in several locations as an outbound proxy and as a front end doing reverse publishing or reverse proxy for Outlook Web Access (OWA); we’re also publishing Exchange through ISA, as well as using it for VPN. Thousands of users are going through these deployments today. A case study on www.microsoft.com/isaserver details how we implemented this at Microsoft, and that infrastructure is being built out further over time.”

When I asked what customers can learn from Microsoft’s experiences, Joel pointed to “a white paper on the ISA Web site that was written based on the deployment of ISA Server 2004 at TechEd Europe, Middle East, and Africa (EMEA). They took ISA out of the box and built a whole network, which they replicated at all the events around Europe. This network uses ISA Server as its primary mode of protection. The white paper not only talks about the topology but also about best practices and how Microsoft created that standalone environment.”/P