Fortinet FortiADC Review

Helps reduce our server farm and use all servers, but the UI could be more user-friendly

What is our primary use case?

Mixed server environment with Apache Servers, IIS Servers and internal applications. Load balance all the servers through VIPs to equally distribute all the connections among the servers and SSL Offloading. We’ve used it to reduce our server farm, lowering cost, and effectively use all the servers at once.

How has it helped my organization?

The boxes were used to load balance the environment, making it more reliable, and improving the performance and response of the applications.

What is most valuable?

  • SSL Offloading
  • VM availability
  • L7 load balancing

What needs improvement?

The user interface could be more friendly and CLI could be more like that of Fortigate.

For how long have I used the solution?

One to three years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

No real stability issues, the system is good. Had a few problems but did a firmware upgrade and it solved them; not sure if it was a firmware problem.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Had no need to scale it up, so all good.

How are customer service and technical support?

I didn't need to use support for this solution, but usually Fortinet support is good, not great but good.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

I’m a F5 engineer as well and, to be honest, I do prefer BIG-IP, but as I’ve worked at Fortinet partners I had to deploy some of these. Before FortiADC, I deployed a FortiBalancer (the old ADC); it was a great improvement from FortiBalancer to FortiADC.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup is sort of easy but you go through a lot of screens to do it.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

Compared to F5, FortiADC pricing is better.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

I’m used to deploying F5 BIG-IP load balancer and all of its modules. Either it’s way easier or I'm more used to it.

What other advice do I have?

It’s easy to use, but it could have more features, when comparing it to a F5.

Make a checklist before going into it hands-on. This will make it faster to become familiar with the application's behaviour; not all the apps can be load balanced. The best way is to implement it is to have PATs or VIPs from the firewall pointing to FortiADC virtual servers. Check into the best load balance method and, as I said, check app behaviour before choosing it. Try not to set it as round robin.

**Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Reseller.
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