Fortinet FortiGate-VM Review

Integrates well, provides centralized reporting, good support and has a firewall for security

What is our primary use case?

We are service providers, and we provide managed services to external customers.

The primary use case of this solution is for firewalling, web applications, and proxying.

We use all of the UTM (Unified Threat Management) features that come with this product.

What is most valuable?

The most valuable features of this solution are the integration within the environment, with centralized reporting. 

One analyzer and the different devices feeding into that environment. 

The firmware is always up-to-date.

What needs improvement?

Compatibility and integration with other products or vendors such as Cisco SD-WAN products need improvement.

The multi-tenancy environment for multiple customers, to make it more secure, needs some improvement.

When you buy a bigger box, you should have the ability to slice and dice data. It should also have the ability to give customers either read and write or more privileged access to that environment. Specifically, to the environment that doesn't overflow into the other parts that have been sliced up.

I would like to see a type of portal for on-site deployment, where they can report into a cloud portal and have a high-level view of utilization. Basic indicators on the performance of the environment, including health status, should be displayed.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using this solution for approximately six years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

We are completely satisfied with the stability of this solution.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Because we're sitting on a multi-tenant type of setup the scalability will depend on the customer's ability to upgrade.

Externally we have several customers that range from government to enterprise clients that use the product and we manage the backend. 

The number of users can range from a site that has 100 users to a site that has 2,000 to 3,000 users.

With the multi-tenant environment, we are able to use resources from multiple accounts. 

We run a 24/7 operation with various requirements, and have a team of 15 to 20 to maintain this solution.

We have plans to increase the usage as the requirement increases for more secure environments with more advanced features or other features within the security space. We would go from a standard firewall to maybe a web application firewall, or to authentication with the two-factor type of services.

How are customer service and technical support?

Technical support is good. We work through a distributor and it's just a matter of a phone call to explain what needs to be done or a feature that we need to enable, and within an hour or two they come back to explain what has to be done.

They also give advice going forward with what to deploy.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup is fairly straightforward.

The implementation varies from being complex to being straightforward. It can take two to three weeks to implement with some tweaking afterward.

What about the implementation team?

Part of the implementations comes with professional services from Fortinet themselves. In most cases, if it's a new version or a new deployment, we typically get the implementation services from a service provider rather than the vendor.

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

We have clients with three-year licensing and others with five. 

It's not a cheap solution but it comes with its benefits.

It's all bundled. When we purchase this product, it is bundled with a support license for that period.

What other advice do I have?

With our clients, there is a range of Fortinet FortiGate versions, anything from FortiGate 60E to FortiGate 3700D. 

Management connects to a FortiAnalyzer, and we have application firewalls as well.

We have a centralized data center where we have a combination of customers with on-premises equipment. This includes small devices to secure the customer's environment, and larger devices at the data center, specifically for our customers.

We try to build our services around Fortinet products.

We prefer to work with Fortinet products based on what we have learned from the Gartner Magic Quadrant, and I recommend them.

I would rate this solution a nine out of ten.

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