Fortinet FortiSwitch - Secure Access Review

Offers excellent reporting and monitoring of the endpoints and has good integration with FortiGate


What is our primary use case?

Our general focus as a company and partner with Fortinet is to act as one of the Security Fabric solution providers. We are trying to deliver the whole solution of the Fortinet Security Fabric to our customers. The Secure Access component is a part of that solution. 

How has it helped my organization?

It gives us the option to offer different solutions to our clients that fit their needs and budget.

What is most valuable?

The integration between the FortiGate and FortiSwitch — the reporting and monitoring — is perfect. The reporting and monitoring of the endpoints could not be better. So, for me, this is the best feature of FortiSwitch. 

What needs improvement?

I think that Fortinet needs to focus on its pricing and improving the packages offered to users. When our company offers a client the FortiSwitches product, the customer ends up comparing FortiSwitch's pricing directly with HP and Cisco. Both of these other products cost less but they have fewer features. Fortinet needs to bring the price down to levels that are more competitive at-a-glance with these other products. If they do that, they will take more of the market because they have more features and clients will compare by features rather than by price. It is actually justified as it stands to charge more, but customers often only see the price tag.

Another thing that could be improved, although it is not actually part of the product itself, is the technical support. The technical support team is slow to respond and the responses are not always complete.

For how long have I used the solution?

We have been using this solution for just over one year.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

Based on my experience with the product, I think it is very stable. Up until now, I have never seen a problem with stability.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

We have clients who use the same product with a different number of users — between 20 to 100 users. I do not see any problem with performance or scalability in different implementations or different network architectures.

How are customer service and technical support?

My customers may contact technical support directly at times. Usually, we will not need to. When we do have contact with them it is not very good, and we hear the same thing from our customers. They need to improve the technical support service. Right now, they take a lot of time to reply to tickets. Then, when they respond, they are not as helpful as they could be. They need to adopt a different approach to their method of responding to customers.

How was the initial setup?

Installation is very easy, especially now that Fortinet has made a lot of videos available to understand the configuration. We have done this many times as resellers, so it is easy for us. If a person has no experience at all, he or she might be able to do it themselves, or they may need someone to help them. It depends on the person's level of experience with similar products. If he has any experience with other products, he or she will probably be able to do it without any help.

What about the implementation team?

We are official partners with Fortinet so we do installations for ourselves and other companies as well.

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

The product is one of the most expensive that customers can consider, but the pricing is justified by the functionality. It would probably be best if they reconsidered pricing so more people will use it and they will understand the value.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

As a reseller, we have evaluated many options and we use whichever one seems to be the best fit for the client.

What other advice do I have?

On a scale from one to ten where one is the worst and ten is the best, I would rate this product as an eight. Nothing is perfect. The technical support is a bit of an issue.

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