Fortinet FortiSwitch - Secure Access Review

Good usability and GUI. However, the technical support needs to improve its troubleshooting assistance.


What is our primary use case?

The customer wanted to have a switch, but then we managed to buy a console: FortiGate. This has been deployed to control the switching. This switch has 40 access points for WiFi access. This has been deployed to the university for student access. We have the controller using FortiGate with the access point being FortiGate. So, we chose FortiSwitch to uniformize our entire equipment and the WiFi for students access.

The version depends on the version of FortiOS which is running on the switch.

What is most valuable?

The interface is great because we can do all the administrative tasks with a user vertical interface. FortiSwitch can be managed by the FortiGate, so a lot of tasks are doable using FortiGate. If you master FortiGate, you won't have a lot of difficulty mastering FortiSwitch. What I really love in FortiSwitch: its usability, the graphical user interface, and the ability to be managed by FortiGate.

What needs improvement?

The technical support could be improved.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using this solution for two years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It's stable. The installation was deployed two years ago. We haven't had any big problems with it. If there are problems, they are related to the configuration, passwords changes, and sometimes the access point loses connection. 

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

FortiSwitch can be managed and controlled by FortiGate. The configuration is done on FortiGate. To scale, you just need to purchase some other switches, even they are not really the same model of the one deployed. With two or three clicks, we can scale them to the other switch.

With the university example, where it is not fully functional, there are almost 2000 or 3000 students who are using the access points to access the WiFi, which are connected to the switch. 

How are customer service and technical support?

I am almost an expert on the solution, so I don't often need support. But, if you contact Fortinet, it's a bit difficult. Most of the time, they send you just links and documents to read for troubleshooting. When you contact support, you don't need documents. You want someone that can understand your problem, give a hand, and help you. I'm not impressed by the support really.

How was the initial setup?

Initial setup is like plug and play. It's really simple.

I can deploy a FortiSwitch in a maximum of one hour.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

Maybe Fortinet can improve FortiSwitch's functionalities, because they are not the best on the market. Cisco switches offer more functionalities regarding access control and other features, like WLAN security. They can improve these on FortiSwitch.

It's affordable compared to other switching products, like Cisco switches. 

What other advice do I have?

I can recommend the solution.

I would rate the solution as a seven (out of 10).

FortiSwitch is a member of what Fortinet calls its security fabric. 

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

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