I was browsing the Microsoft Downloads page tonight and found an interesting little gem titled Providing Security for Corporate Resources at Microsoft by Using ISA Server 2004. This download is a Microsoft IT Showcase document, and it sheds some light on how Microsoft IT uses ISA Server 2004. However, the most important point of this document is that it provides some interesting information on ISA Server 2004 SP2. Being an MVP for Windows Server Update Services (WSUS), the info on BITS Caching caught my attention. Here is a quote from the aforementioned doc:
Microsoft IT uses the BITS caching feature of ISA Server 2004 SP2 to reduce bandwidth and the number of individual downloads that are required to update client software on the corporate network. By using BITS caching, Microsoft IT has served over 70 percent of software update requests from the cache.
This is an interesting statistic, although it leaves me with several questions.
- Are these strictly WSUS-delivered updates, or does this figure include SMS 2003 Advanced Client BITS downloads as well?
- In what scenarios were the statistics gathered? Branch office? Telecommuter? Both?
Regardless – this is exciting new functionality for ISA Server 2004. Just be glad it’s coming in a Service Pack, and not an R2 release ;)