MCSE: ISA Server 2000 Administration Study Guide

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Here’s the book you need to prepare for Exam 70-227, Installing,

Configuring, and Administering Microsoft Internet Security and Acceleration (ISA)

Server 2000, Enterprise Edition:

  • In-depth coverage of

    every exam objective—all the information you need to know

  • Practical

    information on installing and administering ISA Server

  • Hundreds of

    challenging review questions, in the book and on the CD

  • Leading-edge exam

    preparation software, including a testing engine and electronic


Authoritative coverage of all exam objectives,


  • Installing ISA Server

  • Configuring and

    troubleshooting ISA Server services

  • Configuring, managing, and

    troubleshooting policies and rules

  • Deploying, configuring, and

    troubleshooting the client computer

  • Monitoring, managing, and analyzing ISA

    Server use
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780782129335
  • Publisher: Wiley
  • Publication date: 11/1/2001
  • Series: Study Guide Series
  • Edition description: Student Manual, Study Guide, etc.
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 551
  • Product dimensions: 7.75 (w) x 9.30 (h) x 1.65 (d)

Meet the Author

Chris Golubski (MCSE+I, MCDBA, MCSD, A+, Network+) is a senior technical training consultant for Productivity Point and a contributing editor to MCP Magazine. Sean McCormick (MCSE, MCT, MCP+I, A+, Network+) is a production lead and technical writer and editor for, a leading certification-focused Web site.

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Read an Excerpt

Chapter 2: ISA Server 2000 Installation

In this chapter, we get on with the business of installing ISA Server. We'll be taking a look at the key ingredients of an ISA installation, particularly items like good name-server registrations, ensuring that you have stable Internet connectivity, creating the local address table (LAT), calculating cache size, and setting up ISA as an array member. We'll also delve a bit into upgrading from existing Proxy Server 2.0 installations. Finally, we'll talk about troubleshooting setup problems.

Preconfiguring Network Interfaces

W hen we talk about network interfaces, we're talking specifically about the external and internal interfaces that the ISA Server will use. Specifically we're interested in the way that the ISA Server will interface with the Internet and how we'll accomplish name resolution.

Preconfigure network interfaces.

  • Verify Internet connectivity before installing ISA Server.
  • Verify DNS name resolution.
This section is about verifying that the important ingredients are present before you perform your ISA installation, namely, Internet connectivity and DNS name-resolution capabilities. Since the heart and soul of ISA is all about Internet client activity, be it internal clients browsing the Web or external clients trying to hit published servers, it's highly important to understand how name resolutions can help or hinder your installation, as well as to make sure you have the right setup to get to the Internet in the first place.

Sizing the ISA Server

Before we go to the topics at large, we need to talk briefly about how you'll size your ISA Server. There are several considerations you'll need to take into account as you consider your ISA Server purchase.
Processor Speed
The processor speed you pick depends almost entirely on the speed of your external Internet connection (coupled, in part, with the kind of activities your ISA Server will be involved with—for our work here, let's assume a moderately rules-oriented server that will be involved in assessing a modicum of rules as they come in or go out the door). A server that's simply doing some web caching won't be as busy as one that's involved with web caching, intense logging, IP packet filtering, and other typical ISA duties. Keep in mind that all of these things can be spread out among array members, but here we're merely considering one box.

For any kind of non-T-carrier connection (ISDN, DSL circuit, cable modem) that runs at less than 10 megabits per second (Mbps) you can safely run any processor above a Pentium II 300 megahertz (MHz)-class CPU. (You can't buy one today, but that's another story.)

For a T1–T3 (E1–E3 in Europe), OC-1, or DS3 connection running anywhere between 10Mbps and 50Mbps, you should consider, at a minimum, a Pentium III 550MHz or higher.

For speeds higher than that (OC-3 running at 155Mbps, for example) you should consider a Pentium III 550 MHz with an additional processor for each bump beyond 50Mbps. So, for a dedicated OC-3 pipe to your ISP, you'd consider a quad-Pentium III 550MHz or greater for your ISA Server. ISA, by virtue of tagging onto Windows 2000 Server, is symmetric multiprocessor (SMP)–aware, so you won't have a problem with it recognizing and working with up to four processors.

Windows 2000 Server supports up to four processors, Windows 2000 Advanced Server supports up to eight, and Windows 2000 DataCenter Server supports up to 32. However, ISA Standard Edition will not install on a computer with more than four processors. ISA Enterprise Edition will utilize the full 32 processors of a DataCenter Server. Only Enterprise Edition can be installed as an array.

Because ISA runs quite a bit of its activities in memory (NAT tables, URL caches, etc.), RAM is everything to your server design. There is a set Microsoft minimum recommended amount of RAM for ISA Server: 256MB. I can just about guarantee you that if you try running a production ISA box with this little bit of memory, you’ll find your computer is a "pooch," meaning that it's lazy and slow. (Remember that you also have the Windows 2000 Server overhead tagged onto the ISA Server needs.) Realistic RAM minimums are 256MB for an ISA Server in a smallish environment (less than 1000 nodes). For over 1000 nodes, consider adding additional increments of RAM. An optional recommendation to consider is 256MB for each 2000 users over the first 1000. That said, in today's server economy where margins are low and bargains are high, I would not hesitate to order a production ISA Server containing a gigabyte of RAM for a 1000-node office—more for a larger office. For a 500-node office, order your production ISA Server with 512MB–1GB of RAM.
Disk Space
There are two things that you'll be storing in heavy disk quantities on your ISA Server: cache and logs. The cache is set up so that you declare one size and that size is fully utilized by ISA Server (meaning that it doesn't dynamically resize the file as the cache size increases). It turns out that by avoiding the dynamic resize issue, you can save processor cycles.

You have to look at the number of nodes you're supporting in order to figure out how much disk space you need to allocate for your cache. It's difficult to determine how much cache space to allocate because not all users are created equal. Some will be highly robust in their Internet enjoyment, while others will be basic surfers. For the test, you should remember that Microsoft recommends 2–4GB of disk space for up to 500 users, 10GB for 500–1000 users, and an additional 10GB for every 2000 users you add to the system.

For the test, remember that Microsoft uses the formula of 100MB plus 0.5MB for each user supported, rounded to the nearest whole MB. For real deployments, ignore that formula and use the recommendations listed above.

You should consider doubling or tripling these numbers for a real-life production scenario.

For deployments in which you're planning to perform a limited amount of logging (for such things as IP packet filtering and Web Proxy), you should plan on at least 1GB of space dedicated to the logs.

It may not be a bad idea to consider partitioning your ISA computer in such a way that the OS lives on one partition, the ISA program files on another, the cache on another, and the logs on another. Consider putting the cache and logs on completely separate physical disks, not just parti-tions. The cache must be located on an NTFS partition. If you're still putting things on FAT, can we talk?

With ISA Server Enterprise Edition, you can install ISA Server on multiple computers, each of which can become a member of the same ISA array and can fulfill various duties. This will help you facilitate large deployments that have many users and needs within a single array design. The caveat with this is that there's a pretty large jump in price from ISA Standard to ISA Enterprise. In either the Standard or Enterprise pricing scenario, you pay by the CPU. The retail price for ISA Standard is around $1500 per CPU, while ISA Enterprise is $6000 per CPU ($3000 per CPU if you're upgrading from an older firewall product). Keep this in mind as you size your ISA Server and ask the question, "Is this such a large enterprise that I have to go with a full ISA Server array, or can I get by with one reasonably well-engineered server?"

With the above sizing recommendations in mind, you should have a somewhat better understanding of the caliber of computer you'll be using for your foray into enterprise-class firewalling. You should not consider installing ISA Server on a workstation-class computer running a Pentium II 450 with 128MB of RAM. You won't like the performance and neither will your users. Take this box seriously. Buy a good-quality computer from a Tier-1 vendor, and over-engineer the computer with more CPU, RAM, and disk than you think you'll need. You will not be sorry you did....

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Table of Contents


Assessment Test.

Chapter 1: Introduction to ISA Server.

Chapter 2: ISA Server 2000 Installation.

Chapter 3: Basic ISA Configuration.

Chapter 4: ISA Server and RRAS Integration.

Chapter 5: Configuring ISA Server for the Enterprise.

Chapter 6: Client Access.

Chapter 7: Performance Tuning and Optimization of ISA Server.

Chapter 8: Troubleshooting ISA Server.



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