Celestix MSA Advanced Web Protection Features Deprecated

For customers who have purchased the Celestix MSA edge security solution featuring Microsoft Forefront Threat Management Gateway (TMG) 2010, you are most likely aware that Microsoft has discontinued this product and will not be releasing a new version in the future.

Many organizations continue to use the Celestix MSA in production today, and it still serves capably in its role protecting corporate networks. The solution is still fully supported by Celestix today and will be for many years to come, so many companies are still holding off replacing it with another solution until a later date. The good news is that regardless of supportability, most of TMG’s features will continue to work in to perpetuity. There are a few exceptions, however.

Microsoft Reputation Services (MRS) is an online service that Microsoft uses for URL categorization. This service is called from the TMG firewall when URL filtering is configured and enabled. When the TMG firewall receives a web request it will submit the URL to MRS, which returns the category (or categories) to which the URL belongs. The result is cached and local policy determines if the request is allowed or denied.

Although Microsoft has pledged support for Forefront TMG 2010 until April 2020, some supporting services will be deprecated well before that. For example, the online MRS will be permanently removed from service beginning January 1, 2016. This will effectively disable the URL filtering feature in TMG. For customers relying on Forefront TMG 2010 URL filtering, a third-party solution will have to be deployed before that time.

Additional protection technologies in TMG such as virus and malicious software inspection and the Network Inspection System (NIS) will also no longer receive updates. They will continue to function using the last updates received, but without new updates these services will no longer be effective.


If you still have a Celestix MSA in production today and are relying on any of the advanced web protection capabilities, now is the time to begin making plans to supplement these deprecated features. Call us on +1 (510) 668 0700 for more details or email [email protected].

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