Microsoft is discontinuing Forefront Threat Management Gateway (TMG) and ceasing support and maintenance for the product by April 14, 2015. Forefront TMG provides firewall, virtual private network and other security features for Microsoft Exchange, Lync and SharePoint and allows organisations to both publish and protect workload servers. Though there will still be support features for the next 21 months, planning your replacement solution for Forefront TMG now will help smooth transition pains, forecast related software purchases and assess functionality requirements related to your applications.
3 Threat Management Gateway Replacement Options
There are several options currently being marketed as replacements for Forefront TMG and each has its advantages depending on your organisation’s current IT setup and application needs.
1. United Access Gateway: Forefront Unified Access Gateway 2010 (UAG) provides remote access to corporate data for users in a BYOD scenario or using employer-sanctioned mobile devices, including using options such as VPN. Migrating to UAG from Threat Management Gateway carries some transition aspects and potentially higher costs depending on your geographical location. It also doesn’t fully support certain aspects of Lync or Exchange like Threat Management Gateway does.
2. Netscaler: Citrix’s answer to Threat Management Gateway is a full-featured application delivery controller that has been validated for use with Exchange, Lync and SharePoint and is deployed in a similar manner to Forefront TMG. NetScaler provides load balancing, content filtering, policy processing, application layer firewall, network access control and many other security features. It also leverages AppExpert Templates’ predefined templates that can optimise application performance and can assist with the front-end of installing applications in enterprise data centres.
3. Hardware load balancing appliances: Certain hardware load balancing appliances can publish Microsoft workload servers for applications such as Lync and Exchange, providing firewall and traffic management and ensuring optimal performance through the best performing server. Some offerings offer more sophisticated features than others depending on the complexity of your deployments.
Regardless of which solution you choose for replacing Threat Management Gateway, discussing your options with a trusted IT provider can help you determine how your applications, licensing and back-end technical environment will be affected during the transition. They can also help you deploy and integrate your Threat Management Gateway replacement solution so applications and systems continue to run smoothly during and after the transition. As an experienced provider of TMG and its alternative solutions, Datacom is prepared to discuss the options with you — get in touch with us to see which solutions best suit your business needs.