Tuesday, June 14, 2005

ISA 2004 isn't caching my internet traffic

In the community today, it came up that ISA 2004, when installed in a clean install, doesn't cache internet traffic. This is by design.

ISA Server 2004 Web Caching in Windows SBS

By default, Internet Security and Acceleration (ISA) Server 2004 does not configure Web caching during installation. The Windows SBS team decided to not enable Web caching during installation for these reasons:

  • Web caching is most beneficial in an enterprise environment, which can have thousands of requests to the same sites. An enterprise can potentially save time and bandwidth by caching these sites locally and refreshing them periodically. Web caching is not as beneficial to a small business because of the lower number of duplicate requests. In fact, Web caching can cause a small business to use more bandwidth because it periodically refreshes the cached sites.

  • Configuring the cache rules for ISA Server 2004 requires additional administrative overhead from the small business. To operate at maximum efficiency, the cache rules need to be configured by an experienced administrator who is familiar with the network traffic patterns of the particular site.


Matt said...

Hi Sean,

What major downsides do you see about caching and a small business? I am the main support for a small business (about 25 in office, 20 field) and I love the caching feature. I don't have any jobs set up, mainly because there isn't enough traffic to warrant it, but I do have it enabled. Its great for when I download updates onto a few PCs.

Sean Daniel said...

Well, it's *more* useful with lots of people, and updates are a great saving, although that should be done with WSUS, it does the same thing, but lets you better manage patches on your network. If you're paying by the KB (as in some countries like Australia) then ISA comes in pretty handy to save a few bucks here or there.... I wouldn't neccessarily call it a performance booster if you have less than 50 people at your small business... but that's just one school of thought. :)