Microsoft ISA Server 2004

Microsoft Corporation chose the SimuActive™ product suite to educate the market and train its world-wide channel partners for the Microsoft ISA Server 2004 roll-out.

The opportunity

Microsoft needed to launch the new release of its Internet Security and Acceleration (ISA) 2004 server. ISA 2004 is a major release for Microsoft with significant improvement over the previous version. The success of this feature-rich network security product matches Microsoft’s concern for security and determination to improve this segment in the marketplace.

The problem

Microsoft is challenged with educating the market on the various features and benefits of the ISA 2004 server. The company needs a solution to cost-effectively train its worldwide channel partners to sell the product to their customer base. This is complicated by the fact that the core customers for the product are small to medium businesses with IT staffs that are often inexperienced in network security issues.

The SimuActive™ Solution

Simulāt developed a SimuActive™ training program for Microsoft replicating the core logic and network configuration of ISA 2004. By recreating ISA’s connections to external components, a user can see how ISA monitors internal corporate resources through the DMZ as well as branch offices and remote users through the Internet.

This virtual environment allows Microsoft to highlight ISA’s key features and graphically demonstrate its ability to defend against malicious attacks from the Internet.

A screenshot from the ISA Training SimuActive™ Environment

The SimuActive™ environment includes multimedia educational presentations to illustrate key concepts.
A screenshot from the ISA Training SimuActive™ Environment
An imaginary administrator gives viewers tasks to complete within the ISA 2004 environment generated by SimuActive™.

A user can be actively guided through six different tasks and learn how easy it is to set up a VPN tunnel, securely publish material to the Internet, set up internet access rules for employees and much more.

A screenshot from the ISA Training SimuActive™ Environment
The SimuActive environment replicates different desktops within a typical Microsoft ISA 2004 enabled network, allowing the user to experiment by playing different IT roles.

Experienced IT users can switch to “free-style” mode and navigate the ISA administration console just as if they were using the product and even alter and test various network configuration options.

Value to Microsoft

Microsoft expects to recover their investment many times over in the first few months alone through significant cost savings on technical sales support expenses and user training time. The simulation also drastically lowers the need for purchasing and transporting physical network and server equipment.


"The ISA SimuActive™ Training program is an AWESOME tool. We've already had great responses to the beta version, and we anticipate its usefulness to allow the market to learn our highly technical and sophisticated product"

Joseph Landes, Senior Product Manager


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