FortiAP, FortiGate, FortiAuthenticator, FortiPresence, FortiDeploy, FortiNAC, FortiExtender, FortiSwitch…We could go on for hours naming the various Forti- products in the Fortinet portfolio it seems. Who knew that Fortinet had pretty much everything you need to build an enterprise class network? The team over at Fortinet has worked hard over the years to build a swiss army knife for the network that comes packaged in a simple, white box that could very well be a trojan horse device.
Trojan horse you say? That’s correct. The beauty of most of these products is that they are all built into the FortiGate appliance that utilizes a singular piece of hardware to provide a bulk of the features such as a firewall, switch controller, and wireless controller, all under a single pane of glass to ease the burden on the network administrator. On top of this single box, there are NO, NADA, ZERO, ZILCH licenses that are required for purchase to utilize any of the features you need. No trillion line item price lists to search through, no secret decoder rings needed to figure out what other pieces are dependencies for the one license you need, absolutely nothing is needed on top of the price of the box. I think it’s probably fair to say that building BOMs for some vendors requires more time to understand how licensing works, and then find them on the price list, that it does to design the full network architecture. WOW, GAME CHANGER! I really wanted to save that note for last, but I just couldn’t help myself.
So why was a security company presenting at Mobility Field Day you ask? Pretty simple. They aren’t just a security company, but they do have security at the front of mind when building all of their products. Ok maybe not cameras, but hey it made you look didn’t it? 😉 Fortinet has a wireless product line whose flexibility in terms of AP models rivals the big guns in the WLAN market. For those of you that didn’t know, Fortinet has a long established FortiAP (FAP) product line that preceded the products gained via the Meru acquisition back in 2015. Talking about flexibility of the APs, they come in a variety of management options including Cloud based, FortiGate based, and FortiWLC based to cover any mode of operation an administrator could possibly want or need. And single channel architecture (SCA)? Yep, it’s still there. I mean after all we couldn’t leave @Badger_Fi out in the cold, forcing him to move his entire network over to the darkside of MCA 🙂 Another innovative feature of the AP products is that those managed by the FortiGate appliance can act as firewall interfaces, allowing the administrator to design policies just as if the AP were a physical port on the back of the firewall. I’m sure that feature has a few security guys thinking about what they could do to increase network security with this product set. For those wondering more about security, FortiGate has the FortiAuthenticator that can provide a multitude of security features and onboarding functionality to enhance the FortiFabric (maybe I just made that up, but they do have a full fabric designed to increase security) across the product line.
One more thing! If you want to play around with the Fortinet products because you’re so excited to see more about them….check out http://www.fortidemo.com and use the credentials demo/demo for access. While you can’t configure things etc, you can browse the GUI and see the features available to the administrator.
These are just a few of the things we learned about at #MFD3. If I were to try and cover them all……let’s just say I don’t want to write a novel but could. While the bulk of this article has been positive, I will note one thing I would love to see changed. I appreciate marketing and branding efforts by all, but FAP??? Might want to rethink that one guys. 😛 Maybe the FortiPoint? Or FortiMcFort Point? How about ForitMegaAwesomeWirelessDevice?
I hope that I’ve given you enough to check out Fortinet if you haven’t lately. You might be surprised. Thoughts and comments? Hit me in the comments and if I can’t answer them, I know a few folks that can. 🙂
*slides courtesy of Fortinet