TMG Directions

A few months ago, Microsoft has announced that it will be discontinuing any further releases of TMG. This was surprising to some, but an expected affirmation of a long suspected move to others. Either way, this has left many people with concerns or questions regarding what to do now, so here are some answers to clarify things.

First of all, just the fact that the product is no longer being developed doesn’t mean it’s gone. Microsoft is committed to supporting TMG just like any other product. TMG is in full support until April 2015, and in extended support until April 2020. During the upcoming 7.5 years, customers can open support cases with Microsoft, and receive the same level of high-quality support they’ve received in the past, with the same people and same level of experience and knowledge. The difference between mainstream support and extended support is that during extended support, the TMG product team will only be addressing security-related issues. Until then, though, even though no new features will be developed, the product team is still there, and will continue to address issues or customer concerns. Customers with existing deployments which is working well and have no specific reason to discontinue the use of the product and move to UAG can continue on using TMG for the next 7 years or till the customer plans their next line of products based on current and future lifecycles.

While purchasing of new TMG licenses has been suspended, our OEM partners who are producing TMG-based appliances may still be in business, and might be provide additional appliances to customers who require them. For customers who are already running a TMG deployment and require additional licenses to extend their deployment, some options are available, so make sure you discuss the situation with your Account Manager at Microsoft.

Microsoft’s other edge product UAG is still in development (SP3 was recently announced!), and the UAG Product Team is working on planning a new version of it. However, this doesn’t mean that customers who are using TMG should automatically move to UAG. While UAG can perform some of the functions that TMG provides, the products don’t have a full overlap and moving to UAG may leave a gap. For example, UAG supports publishing of all Exchange services, but does not support publishing of all Lync functions. Also, even though a UAG server comes with TMG built-in, it doesn’t mean that one can purchase a UAG in order to use the TMG that’s in there. Using TMG on a UAG server is strictly limited by the support boundaries. If you are contemplating switching from TMG to UAG, I recommend contacting your Microsoft Account Manager, Microsoft consultant, or Microsoft Premier Field Engineer to ascertain if your specific scenarios are supported by UAG (if necessary, they could leverage senior engineering resources within Microsoft to verify compatibility and suitability). In some situations, it may not, and your only option would be to switch to a product provided by Microsoft’s partners or competitors.

If you have questions on the topic, please contact me via the “Email Blog Author” link on the top-right, and I will update this post with more information, if necessary.