How has it helped my organization?
These devices allowed my organization to connect a network of gas stations and convenience stores nationwide. The VPN capabilities provide a reliable connection to our corporate network over very low cost internet services (basically, any Internet service locally available can be used for this connections).
We also leverage the NGFW, UTM and WLAN controller features to provide security for corporate network traffic, and secure, content-filtered guest internet access for customers in the convenience stores. All this at a relative low cost.
What is most valuable?
- LinkGreat firewall capabilities
- Great IPS and web filter for small remote locations, with VPNs for tunneling to the corporate network, makes this device a solid choice for many sites.
What needs improvement?
Stability and technical support are the two major issues I have found with Fortinet.
What do I think about the stability of the solution?
We’ve had cases of unexplained bugs that go away with a simple device reboot. Software updates usually help with these issues.
What do I think about the scalability of the solution?
I have personally found that Fortinet advertising can be misleading. The devices will usually fail way before reaching the capacity advertised in the data sheets, especially when you activate several of the features the device can handle. This is not a dealbreaker for me, especially because of the cost. But I would advise care when dimensioning the devices you’ll need.
How are customer service and technical support?
Customer service in Fortinet is OK. Lately they've been making efforts in this area. They actually call you when licenses are about to expire which is a nice touch on their part.
I would say technical support is 6/10. I’ve found tech support to vary, sometimes being decent, sometimes painfully inefficient. Much room for improvement here IMHO.
Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?
We still use Cisco for some cases. However, where we need the advanced security and UTM features, Cisco’s prices can be very restrictive. Fortinet is a much more cost-effective choice for those cases.
How was the initial setup?
Initial setup was very straightforward. Interface is very friendly and easy to comprehend.
Which other solutions did I evaluate?
Before choosing this product, we also evaluated Cisco.
What other advice do I have?
Be careful with dimensioning. Don’t expect the device to handle ALL the features. Usually firewall, Web Filter and the WLAN controller work well. But if you need IPS, app control and AV, I would advise over-dimensioning the device a bit (taking Fortinet data sheets as the reference).