Hyper-active caching with ISA in SBS 2003 [Windows Small Business Server 2003 Best Practices]

Hiya – I am the author of the above title and I like to post up a passage each day as my “virtual book reading” for your pleasure! Today is the caching convresation in ISA. Enjoy it and live long!



Harry Brelsford, CEO at smb nation www.smbnation.com

Microsoft Small Business Specialist SBSC, MBA, MCSE, MCT, MCP, CNE, CLSE, CNP

PS – did u know I host a technology conference in the New York City area each spring? Save the date for March 6-8, 2009 and watch “voice meet data” in the SMB space!

PPS – my SBS 2008 book will be out in mid-November 2008!

PPPS – my Microsoft Response Point Primer book is here NOW!

Changing ISA Server 2000

In this section, you’ll be exposed to a lot of ancillary stuff related to ISA Server 2000. Take it or leave it, but you’ll likely find a gold nugget or two herein.

Hyper-active caching

One “delta” change from SBS 2000 to SBS 2003 is that active caching is now turned on by default. SBS 2000 was the only version in the life of SBS where active caching wasn’t turned on by default (it was turned on automatically in the SBS 4.x era). You can see this by right-clicking Cache Configuration beneath SPRINGERS1 in the ISA Management snap-in. Select Properties and click the Active Caching tab. Your screen should look similar to Figure 13-18.

Figure 13-18

Note that you can select the Frequently radio button to create a hyper-active caching scenario where much stuff is cached.

BEST PRACTICE: You’ll recall that you set the caching file size when ISA Server 2000 was installed earlier in this chapter. You can modify that cache file size by selecting the Drive folder beneath Cache Configuration. Over time, you might want to increase the file size to cache more stuff.

BEST PRACTICE: One of the big complaints in the past regarding active caching was that it generated too many dial-out calls to the ISP via modem (where modems were the Internet connection approach). I well recall the day during the SBS 4.5 timeframe when I was called by a construction company client of mine who asked me to come out and explore “phantom” modem dial-ups.  It turns out the active caching feature was updating cached Web pages with frequent dial-outs to the Internet.

More important, many international readers have written me complaining long

and loud about active caching being something that actively drains their pocket books. In many foreign countries, telephone calls and connects to the Internet are billed by the minute, not a flat monthly fee. Thus active caching may be cost prohibitive.


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