Archive for the ‘ISA 2006 General’ Category

Forefront TMG 2010 Turns Two Years Old

November 16, 2011 5 comments

Today marks the second anniversary of the release to manufacturing (RTM) for Microsoft Forefront Threat Management Gateway (TMG) 2010. In the two years since its release Microsoft has provided two major service packs that have increased stability, improved performance and scalability, and also added some helpful new functionality. During this time the product also achieved Common Criteria (level EAL4+) certification. As we approach the end of mainstream support for Microsoft ISA Server 2006 SP1, now is a good time to begin evaluating Forefront TMG 2010 and to start planning your migration!

ISA Server 2006 Hotfix Rollup – September 2011

October 5, 2011 9 comments

A hotfix rollup for Microsoft ISA Server 2006 is now available. The hotfix rollup resolves several reported issues with ISA Server, including:

KB2618727 – Users in remote forests cannot change their passwords through ISA Server 2006.

KB2620088 – Large files become corrupted during file transfer through the Socks v4 client.

KB2620076 – Outlook Web App clients are not timed out after the ISA FBA idle time-out is reached.

KB2620069 – ISA 2006 may crash with the error “DRIVER_IRQL_NOT_LESS_OR_EQUAL (d1)”.

KB2622172 – ISA 2006 blocks published website requests for URLs that include carriage returns (CR) or linefeeds (LF).

The latest ISA server 2006 hotfix rollup can be downloaded here. After applying this update, the new ISA Server 2006 build number will be 5.0.5723.526.

Creating User Mode Process Dumps in Microsoft Forefront Threat Management Gateway (TMG) 2010

May 1, 2010 Comments off

In a recent post on his blog, Yuri Diogenes shared with us how to create a manual dump of the wspsrv.exe process in TMG by using the Windows Task Manager. This is tremendously helpful in many situations, but there are scenarios that require more flexibility. For this I use procdump.exe from Sysinternals. To create a dump of a user mode process, enter the following command:

procdump <process>

For example, creating a dump of the wspsrv.exe process would look like this:

procdump wspsrv

This will immediately generate a dump file called wspsrv.dmp.

Procdump provides additional flexibility by allowing you to trigger a dump based on specific thresholds. This is extremely useful when troubleshooting intermittent high CPU utilization issues with TMG. For example, if you wanted to create a dump of the wspsrv.exe process when CPU utilization reaches 90% for more than 5 seconds, enter the following command:

procdump –c 90 –s 5 c:\wspsrv.dmp

When CPU utilization stays at or above 90% for more than 5 seconds, a user mode process dump will be generated and saved in the file c:\wspsrv.dmp. This can be beneficial in situations where high CPU utilization prevents you from using the mouse or typing commands at the command prompt. Automating the task of capturing dumps based on triggers also frees the administrator from having to be at the console when the symptom occurs. Additional command line switches allow you to create multiple dumps, increasing your chances of collecting accurate data for troubleshooting.

Microsoft ISA Server 2004/2006 Migration to Forefront Threat Management Gateway (TMG)

December 4, 2009 Comments off

Jim Harrison and Mohit Saxena discuss Forefront Threat Management Gateway (TMG) migration strategies with David Tesar in this video on TechNet Edge.

ISA 2006 with Integrated Websense and the /3GB Switch

September 15, 2009 2 comments

The /3GB boot.ini switch is perhaps the most misunderstood Windows tuning parameter there is. If you are not familiar with this switch, enabling it allows user mode processes to address 3GB of virtual memory instead of the usual 2GB. It does this at the expense of valuable kernel memory, however. The ISA firewall relies heavily on kernel memory (fweng.sys is the heart of the firewall core and runs in kernel mode) and cutting it in half can dramatically affect stability and performance by reducing the amount of available Paged and Non-paged Pool memory and reducing the maximum number of System Page Table Entries (PTEs). It has been well documented that the use of the /3GB boot.ini switch can cause serious issues, and in fact the ISA Best Practices Analyzer complains when it finds this switch in use.


Applications must be configured to take advantage of this additional memory made available by the /3GB switch. You can verify which applications are configured in this manner by using the dumpbin.exe utility that is included with Microsoft Visual C++ and specifying the /HEADERS parameter. Websense has enabled this functionality for some of their core services, and by looking at the headers for eimserver.exe version we can see that this image does indeed support large address space.



Websense is now optionally recommending that the /3GB switch be enabled when applying certain hotfixes. If you have Websense components installed on the ISA firewall itself I would strongly dissuade you from enabling the /3GB switch. If you are experiencing memory related issues with Websense services on your ISA firewall, add additional RAM. If memory related issues persist, remove all Websense services other than the filtering plug-in and place them on a separate system outside of the ISA firewall. You can then safely enable the /3GB switch on that system.

Microsoft ISA Server 2006 Web-based Management Console?

In response to my recent blog post about system policies in Microsoft ISA Server, several people asked me about a rule called ‘Web Management’


The description of the rule states that “Enabling this configuration group enables system policy rules that allow remote management of ISA server from selected computers using Web applications”. This rule is disabled by default when you install the ISA firewall software. If you view the access rule itself, you will notice that the protocol defined is “ISA Server Web Management” and is configured to use TCP port 2175 outbound.


So, is there a native web-based management application for Microsoft ISA Server 2006? The answer is no; at least not natively. According to Jim Harrison, this system policy rule was implemented to provide OEM’s a way to enable remote web-based management of an ISA appliance. Embarrassingly enough, I work for Celestix Networks but didn’t know this. ; ) In my defense, however, the web-based management utility that ships with the Celestix MSA Series security appliance is configured to use port 10000. Since the ISA defined protocol was TCP port 2175, which coincidentally is near other native Microsoft ISA Server ports, it sure sounded plausible that maybe there was a native Microsoft ISA web-based management console (or perhaps there were plans for one at some point).

So there you have it. In spite of what the system policy rule might look like, there is no native Microsoft ISA Server web-based management console. If you would like the ability to manage ISA with a web browser, I would strongly encourage you to check out the Celestix MSA Series security appliance featuring Microsoft ISA Server 2006. Not only will you get an intuitive web-based management console, you’ll get plenty of other benefits as well.

Security Update for Microsoft ISA Server 2006 (MS09-031)

July 14, 2009 Comments off

Microsoft today announced the availability of a security update for Microsoft ISA Server 2006. This update addresses a vulnerability with RADIUS One Time Password (OTP). This update is rated important, and affects only ISA Server 2006 (and only in very specific scenarios). Previous versions of ISA are not affected, nor is Forefront Threat Management Gateway. For additional information, please read this post from the ISA product team.