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ISA Server

By hermanin ·
I need to set up an ISA server on my LAN. What specifications should I look for when choosing my hardware? Are there any specific requirements besides a server, operating system and ISA Server?

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by hermanin In reply to ISA Server

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by scviking In reply to ISA Server

There are definitely a few extra considerations not covered by the system requirements.

First off, the server hardware. You'll definitely want something much faster than a PII-300 processor. Something in the P3 or preferably the P4 range will do. Also, some AMD systems have given me nasty install problems. Win2K doesn't always like these.

A lot of this will depend on the number of users that will be using this server. More users = faster processor, and/or multiple processors.

Memory is crucial. Microsoft often posts system requirements for their software that are over and above the resources needed to run the OS itself. In this case, I'd suggest going with 512MB of RAM to be safe.

You'll need at least two NICs in the machine if you're using it as a firewall, and you'll want the fastest ones you can get. If you're on a 10 or 100 BaseT LAN, get full-duplex, bus mastering network cards. Full-duplex cards communicate simultaneously in both directions- effectively doubling the speed of the NIC. Bus mastering cuts down on CPU cycles so your processor is free to to more. These features are even more important if you're using a switched LAN instead of passive hubs.

Hopefully, you're already running a 100BaseT switched LAN or similar. Remember, though, that while a switch can speed up a network considerably, it can also overload certain servers on a network for that same reason. You might want to consider extra NICs for the server, at least on the LAN side of your firewall. On the ISP side of the firewall, this'll depend on the type of broadband connection you have.

You'll also need Active Directory running on your network in order to take advantage of the advanced policy features of ISA.

Hard disk space won't be a big issue- you don't want to run any other services on a firewall. Besides, running other services defeats the entire purpose of a firewall.

Hope this helps...

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