Monday, January 21, 2013

Goodbye Forefront

I've not been a big user of the Microsoft Forefront products. I've tended to use competing products either in software for antispam/antivirus or hardware for firewalling/reverse proxy. However, Forefront Protection for Exchange seemed to get a fair amount of traction with people that implemented Exchange Edge Transport servers.

In September, Microsoft announced that many of the Forefront products are being discontinued. As of December 1, 2012, most cannot even be purchased anymore.

See the official announcement here:
See an explanation from a former employee here:
So, if you were using some of these products, where do you go from here......

  1. Forefront Protection for Exchange. If you are comfortable outsourcing email scanning then you can use Forefront Online Protection for Exchange. The online service then becomes your SMTP relay instead of an Edge Transport server. Otherwise, you get a different on-premises antispam/antivirus solution.
  2. Forefront Threat Management Gateway. In some scenarios, Forefront TMG may be replaced by Forefront Unified Access Gateway (UAG). Forefront UAG is not being retired. If Forefront UAG is not suitable for you, then you need to find an alternative product. In many cases, your firewall vendor has similar functionality embedded in their product.
  3. Forefront Endpoint Protection. This product continues to exist but has been integrated into System Center 2012. You can now view and manage Endpoint Protection from within Configuration Manager.

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