ISA 2006 vs Smoothwall

Posted on 2007-11-14
Last Modified: 2008-11-17
we are currently using ISA 2000 and a smoothwall. We have been told that all our computer and server devices should be windows based.

i have a couple of questions.
1) do you recommend ISA 2006 over a Smoothwall?
2) does anyone have a step by step instruction to configure the ISA 2006?

thank you alll,
Question by:winperez
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Expert Comment

by:Keith Alabaster
ID: 20284409
Never touched a smotthwall so cannot really give you a blow by blow account. As for your 2nd question, impossible to answer - like asking 'how long is my bit of string'

Expert Comment

ID: 20284691
The website (  ) is probably one of the best places to find help on configuring ISA...

Accepted Solution

DToolshed earned 500 total points
ID: 20290132
I have used Smoothwall, and it works. I have used earlier versions of ISA, and it works. :)

Really, it depends on what requirements YOU have for YOUR network.

Once you learn ISA, it can give you some very powerful features, right out of the box. But it can be a little difficult to understand at first. You get used to it. IS a great resource for that.

Smoothwall comes in 2 versions. The GPL freeware, adn the commercial version. If you get the commercial version, you get a lot of the same functionality of ISA, and it may be easier to set up. The free version is very easy to setup, the price is great, but the advanced features are plugins written by the "community" of users, and are of varying quality.

As for Windows vs Linux for your network, it really depends on what you want on your network. At the risk of getting flamed here :) one isn't really better than the other. Whatever you choose, YOU have to be responsble for hardening and maintaining your servers. You pick the server that fits your budget, and will do what you need it to do, and you are able to manage.

Solaris is great, but if you don't understand Unix, don't get it. :)
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Author Comment

ID: 20291292
Thanks a lot guys,  we have been told that we will be getting rid of all non-windows based solutions. So, we will go with ISA 2006.

is  it tricky to install and a configure the ISA 2006 firewall?
please provide any information that would help me install and configure this new server.



Author Comment

ID: 20346580
i would like to go back from using smoothwall to isa 2000. we have recreated all the rules and protocols. when i unplug the smoothwall emails stop incoming. what do i need to look for to correct this problem
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Expert Comment

by:Keith Alabaster
ID: 20346833
I am sure Dtoolshed will continue to assist you.


Expert Comment

ID: 20348278
Is the ISA server on a different IP address? Then you need to update DNS records.
If IP and DNS are already correct, then did you Publish the SMTP server (create a rule to ALLOW inbound email) in the ISA server?

The only reason email would stop coming in is if you missed a step in the changeover.

DNS changes may take 24-48 hours (or more) before all senders are using the updated MX records.

If you don't create an Inbound rule for email on the ISA, it will block it, as it should. All firewalls do (including Smoothwall).

There are no real "step-by-step" instructions for configuring ISA. You NEED to read the Quick Start and Installation guides.
If you don't have complex needs (server farms, load balancers, etc) then you shouldn't have a problem configuring the rules, just use the wizards.

This is not about Smoothwall configuration. This is about planning a firewall migration. If you haven't really planned the migration, you may want to put things back the way they were, and take the time to do it right. If you aren't sure how to plan for a migration, you should really open a new question for that. There are lots of ISA experts here that can help you, but I'm not one of them. I have used ISA Server 2000, but that was years ago, and we moved TO Smoothwall.

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