Wednesday, 1 May 2013

Securely publishing web apps in a post-TMG world

For years Microsoft TMG and Microsoft's Unified Access Gateway (Which heavily relies on TMG for its application firewalling capabilities) gave organisations the ability to securely publish and load balance their enterprise web apps such as SharePoint, Exchange, Sage or Lync. However, as we've all come to understand, Microsoft has pulled the plug on their ForeFront Threat Management Gateway 2010 - Forefront Product Roadmaps AnnouncementThis leaves quite a few enterprises out in the cold. 

One key feature of TMG, was that it offered customers a way to publish and protect workload servers such as Exchange Client Access Servers and Front-End Web Sharepoint Services; especially in Internet Facing deployments where a clean separation between critical infrastructure and the public internet is essential.

Figure 1 - Showing existing TMG deployment 

How are organisations going to be able to achieve this without TMG? Shaka Technologies has the solution in their latest release of Ishlangu Application Delivery Controller.

Introducing Ishlangu Application Access Plans

With the latest release of Ishlangu, Shaka Technologies has introduced a new feature called Access Plans. Access Plans are user authorization and access controls you can assign to Ishlangu proxies. These plans authenticate user access to applications published with Ishlangu. 

Figure 2 - Application deployments simplified with Ishlangu Access Plans

End-Point Authentication

When an Access Plan is in use, a user will be presented with a customisable logon page. The user enters his/her credentials (for example, a logon name and password), which are then passed to the configured authentication service. In the event of a successful authentication, the client is allowed to access the application. However, if there was an authentication failure, the client will be blocked until valid credentials are provided.

Single Sign-on across Published Applications

Once a user has successfully authenticated, Ishlangu will then maintain that user's session, and if required provide single sign-on across multiple sub-domains. Ishlangu single sign-on provides your users with seamless access to all your secure web applications (SharePoint, Exchange...) without having to login multiple times:

Video 1 - Ishlangu Access Plans and Single Sign-on in action!

uControl Script™ Integration with Access Plans

uControl Script is an easy-to-use tool that understands how web applications work, and provides real-time control of the traffic passing through Ishlangu. In fact, Ishlangu uControl Script™ is the most powerful way to manage applications. With uControl Script™ Access Plan integration, Ishlangu gives you the control to manage, monitor and log authenticated user sessions. For example you can log successful user access, clear user sessions that navigate away or request invalid URLs.  

On top of all these great features, Ishlangu also provides Application Layer Firewalling, SSL Offloading, Load Balancing, Content Compression, Content Caching, Geo-IP Location Services, HTTP/TCP Multiplexing and High Availability to provide a highly scalable and secure web app publishing solution.

Large and small businesses are deploying vast numbers of internet facing applications to support ever expanding business requirements. This rapidly growing number of servers needs to be scalable and highly reliable. Above all, the access to these servers and services needs to be secure. With the new release of Ishlangu Application Delivery Controller, Shaka Technologies aims to deliver on customer security requirements for internet facing applications in a world without Forefront TMG. While continuing to address requirements for feature-rich and cost-effective application acceleration, scalability and high reliability.

If you haven't tried Ishlangu before, what is stopping you? Request a free trial now.