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It’s been on the cards for a while, but Microsoft has finally announced the “retirement” of Unified Access Gateway (UAG) with no future major version planned.

UAG has always been a strange, slightly pickled member of the Microsoft stack (as was TMG) as the challenges and nuances associated to perimeter security and publishing have never really been understood by many at Microsoft (and many in their partner community) resulting than a lower than expected uptake, in turn making it hard to justify ongoing development.

Some of the elements of UAG are now included in Windows 2012R2 (Direct Access, Web Application Proxy, etc.) albeit in a basic form but it looks like clients looking for the more sophisticated elements of the product will have to turn to the network vendors for appliance based solutions in the future. Not necessarily a bad thing.

All of the ForeFront technologies have led troubled lives with the exception (IMHO) of FIM, and I am pretty happy that a new FIM major release will surface in 2015.

With indentity management being one of the major emerging challenges in the Enterprise, Microsoft needs a strong story in this space to help stem the slow outflow of customer mindset now that their sheer dominance in the desktop space is being challenged and concepts such as mobile working and BYOD are gaining traction and momentum.

Support for UAG will continue for some time (thru April 2020) so customers have time to migrate, but net new deployments won’t be possible after April 2015.

Am I sad to see UAG go? Kind of. It’s a marmite product sure, but I’ve always been happy to use it when appropriate, spread thinly around the edges of my infrastructure toast.

Read more about the retirement plan here.

more to follow…