The Microsoft Messaging Exchange

Sep 14 2012   2:22PM GMT

Farewell, Forefront!



Posted by: Matt Gervais
Tags:
Exchange Server
Forefront

Everyone say see ya, adios, sayonara to the Forefront line. Well, most of it.

This week Microsoft announced it will discontinue several of its Forefront security products. Those products are as follows: Forefront Protection 2010 for Exchange (FPE), Forefront Protection 2010 for SharePoint, Forefront Security for Office Communications Server, Forefront Threat Management Gateway 2010 and Forefront Threat Management Gateway Web Protection Services.

This is not to say that the companies that rely on these products should stop using them. It simply means that as of December 1, 2012, the aforementioned products will be no longer be available for purchase (mainstream support will continue until April, 2015).

Yesterday I had the pleasure of speaking with Exchange MVP and MCM Devin Ganger to get his take on the announcement.

“This is going to hurt small- to medium-sized businesses more than large ones,” said Ganger. “TMG filled a much-needed role for them. The industry has to step up and see who is going to provide a replacement product for these capabilities.”

But why did it happen?

“This is pure speculation, but it seems like the architectural limitations of the product caught up to it and Microsoft wasn’t willing to put in the work to bring it up to snuff,” Ganger added. 

He also pointed to TMG limitations,which you can read about on his blog.

FOPE name change

On a related note, Forefront Online Protection for Exchange (FOPE) has been renamed “Exchange Online Protection.”

What do you think of the announcement? Do you use Forefront? Were you considering a purchase? Let me know.

Until next time,

Matt

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