Fortinet FortiGate Review

Great VPN feature with IPS providing excellent stability

What is our primary use case?

We have created a virtual cloud on-prem, providing services to our different IT domains in terms of software, database and ERP. We've also created a virtual firewall handling the security and protecting servers in the network. No unwanted or unauthorized user can access the servers. That's a good sign of security and the handling of the network. It provides us with oversight. I'm a senior network engineer and we are customers of Fortinet. 

What is most valuable?

With the Covid pandemic, the VPN has become the most valuable feature. With the majority of traffic connecting from remote locations, the VPN provides stability and reliability. The antivirus and its IPS, intrusion prevention system, also helps with stability.

What needs improvement?

In our environment, we need multiple virtual firewalls to facilitate end users and customers. Fortinet doesn't provide that but they really should include that feature. 

For how long have I used the solution?

I've been using this solution for three years. 

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

Overall stability of the solution is good. I am totally dependent on this device. Basically, it's deployed on the edge of our network. All the software and HR, admin, every department is behind this network. And every user connects their internet services via the VPN. 

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Scalability of this solution is good, we can add devices whenever we like. 

How are customer service and technical support?

Whenever there's an issue and we contact support, the response is positive. The support is impressive. 

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

We previously used Cisco ASA but that model didn't support the latest technology, and was also very expensive. The main issue that caused us to switch solutions was the throughput of the interface. Cisco was providing us with one gig interface. Because of our gradually increasing bandwidth and network requirements, we had to move to more bandwidth and a 10 gig interface, which Fortinet provides. Although Cisco provides the same on a different model, that model was very expensive. That's why we chose to switch to Fortinet Firewall.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup is simple. It's only complex if the design hasn't been sorted or tested. If we're deploying, we study the network, traffic patterns, and traffic path, which is, I think, the most important thing about deploying any network device. We can easily create or delete, modify or customize and optimize the feature, the network, the routing, the policy, and the different features of this device. Most of the time we carry out the implementation ourselves, deploying in different phases; firstly connecting the network, and then partially shifting the traffic phase by phase. When we removed ASA and shifted all the traffic to Fortinet, the overall performance and overall working was very impressive. Downtime probably came to a total of 15 to 20 hours. We have multiple groups using this product - I would estimate somewhere between 12,000 to 13,000 users and the solution is used continuously. 

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

I think the licensing of Fortinet is in the middle range. We also had a demonstration from the vendor that gave us the confidence to work with these devices. We purchased the solution on a bundle basis which the vendor offered us. There are additional costs if we enable a new feature not included in the bundle.

What other advice do I have?

I think Fortinet is a cheaper, stable, scalable, and reliable device. 

From my experience, I would rate this solution a nine out of 10. 

**Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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