What is most valuable?
- The prompt and knowledgeable support behind them.
- Their reliability and their policy of pre-shipping replacements when a unit has failed.
- The simplicity and clarity of their user interface and documentation.
- Their 'cookbooks' that walk you through the most common installation scenarios.
How has it helped my organization?
I am a one-man show, so there is not much that can be done to improve the way that I function. However, these products provide best-in-class security at reasonable prices.
One of the most helpful features is their VPN, the client could not be any simpler to set up and use.
What needs improvement?
I can't think of too much which they can improve upon. I just have not come across any situation where they have fallen short of expectations.
For how long have I used the solution?
I am a consultant who supports these units for my clients who use them. I have had over 10 years of experience with Fortinet products.
What do I think about the stability of the solution?
The products are extremely stable. I have only had one instance where a unit did not function as expected, and Fortinet replaced the unit, despite the fact that it was still operational.
What do I think about the scalability of the solution?
Scalability is the one area where there is room for some improvement. Currently, customers need to purchase more powerful units as their network traffic and requirements grow. Fortinet will occasionally offer trade-in credits in such situations, but this is not always the case. Their product line allows customers to scale from SoHo through enterprise-level requirements, which is what I like about them so much.
How are customer service and technical support?
Their tech support is outstanding.
Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?
I have sold and supported other solutions in the past. Fortinet is not always the least-cost solution available, but from a value standpoint, I find them hard to beat.
How was the initial setup?
Initial setup complexity will vary with the complexity of the installation. It is relatively straightforward and simple to set up basic configurations. More complex requirements entail reading through a lot of documentation in order to complete the firewall configuration because of the myriad of features and options that are available in their O/S. The 'cookbooks' are a big help in these instances.
What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?
Pricing and licensing have to be taken in context with value. Fortinet is usually not the least expensive alternative when considering an upfront investment, but if you take into account the support costs over several years, they are often as cost-effective as the 'cheaper' solutions.
Which other solutions did I evaluate?
In this particular instance, Fortinet was evaluated against an equivalent solution sourced from D-Link. I also evaluated a solution from Xirrus (now Riverbed) which promised better signal strength. However, when I ran the various WiFi planning tools from each supplier, the coverage differences did not merit the more expensive Xirrus solution.
What other advice do I have?
Anyone evaluating this product should consult the documentation available and plan out their solution before making a decision. From personal experience, I find that I am able to save hours of planning and implementation time because Fortinet's documentation is so helpful.