The End of Threat Management Gateway from a Unified Communications Perspective

March 13, 2013   //   Unified Communications, , , , , ,

Last year’s announcement that Forefront Threat Management Gateway (TMG) was being retired along with most of the Forefront line caught a lot of us by surprise. We had heard it was coming but weren’t quite sure if we wanted to believe it. As you know, TMGs have been the recommended way to publish Microsoft Exchange and Lync servers to the Internet for quite some time. With the TMG having such broad and diverse abilities, an optimal replacement wasn’t immediately apparent. Microsoft Unified Access Gateway (UAG) has most of the features of TMG and many more, but isn’t fully supported for some Lync functionality yet and is overkill if used for only this purpose. For those running hardware load balancers, some of these duties can be handed off directly to that hardware, but for those running smaller or simpler deployments, there is a solution that has recently been recommended and may make more sense. That solution is Application Request Routing (ARR) for Internet Information Services (IIS), which can handle many of the basics that were formerly handled by a TMG implementation. Load balancing, URL rewrites, and basic reverse proxy are all in there and it has recently gained a level of acceptance as a possible replacement within the Microsoft Unified Communications community. For those with TMG already, we still recommend using it to its full potential as mainstream support for the product does not end until 2015, with extended support only ending in 2020.

For more information on the use of ARR with Lync, check out the following link from TechNet:

For information on ARR in general, please see the ARR homepage at

If you’d like assistance with planning your path and preparing for your migration, please feel free to reach out to us! And, as always, if there are any items you’d like to see discussed in the blogs, feature level or with technical depth, please let us know! We’d love to hear from you. To learn more about SWC’s Microsoft Lync and Microsoft Exchange offerings, please join us for our next Unified Communications event or follow Anthony Caragol on LinkedIn.

If you enjoyed reading this post, please take a moment to read some of our previous posts on Microsoft Unified Communications:

We’re One Step Closer to Exchange 2013
New Microsoft Lync 2013 Server Features
Microsoft Lync 2013 Resiliency Enhancements
Microsoft Unified Communications…A Game Changer