Fortinet FortiWLM Review

Creating small cells of APs using Single Channel Architecture has improved roaming

What is our primary use case?

We use it for a very large K-12 environment servicing 80,000 concurrent users.

How has it helped my organization?

Being able to leverage Virtual Cell in our environment has been a major advantage. Creating small cells of APs using Single Channel Architecture has improved roaming of our more mobile clients and provided stable and fast network connections to our stationary clients.

What is most valuable?

The Fortinet product is intuitive, scalable, stable, and easy to manage. Seamless roaming by leveraging Virtual Cell is a major advantage which reduces roam times and issues related to roaming. Code stability has been excellent and the hardware quality is second to none.

We leverage Fortinet WLM (formerly EzRF) as a single pane of glass to view all controllers and access points. We use WLM to deploy all of our wireless service profiles, collect analytics, deploy upgrades, etc. This is our primary way to manage all of our equipment. This makes it really easy to replace equipment if needed because there is no locally stored configuration (for the most part).

What needs improvement?

There is very little publicly available information about Virtual Cell and Single Channel Architecture. Promotion of the overall technology is limited as well. Being more vocal about a product that has many advantages would go a long way to eliminating a lot of the confusion and negative perception about Virtual Cell and Single Channel Architecture.

For how long have I used the solution?

More than five years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

Stability issues are very infrequent. If an issue is encountered, a temporary solution is quickly found while a permanent fix is developed.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

With roughly 100 schools and over 6,200 access points servicing 80,000 concurrent users, we have not run into scalability issues. We still primarily use Single Channel Architecture across all of our schools but employ variations of Virtual Cell in special situations.

How are customer service and technical support?

The technical support is great. I have not had any issues with it. The support staff knows the product well and responds to support requests in a timely manner.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

Although I have worked with Fortinet (Meru) for several years, my current employer chose Meru prior to my employment.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup is straightforward and intuitive. A simple and reliable network can be set up very quickly using Fortinet wireless equipment. Using Fortinet Single Channel Architecture is not a replacement for having solid wireless network fundamentals. Wireless network knowledge is critical for deploying any wireless equipment.

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

Licensing has become easier. There is no longer a per-AP license needed on the controller.

What other advice do I have?

This is a very viable solution for all verticals. Do not discount the technology based on what was said several years ago. Just like any other wireless solution out there, a wireless network can be set up incorrectly without the proper wireless networking knowledge. Proper wireless network fundamentals are critical for all wireless network solutions. Combining a solid wireless network foundation with Fortinet will provide a very good experience for several years to come.

**Disclosure: IT Central Station contacted the reviewer to collect the review and to validate authenticity. The reviewer was referred by the vendor, but the review is not subject to editing or approval by the vendor.
More Fortinet FortiWLM reviews from users
...who compared it with Cisco Meraki Wireless LAN
Find out what your peers are saying about Fortinet, Aruba Networks, Cisco and others in Wireless LAN. Updated: June 2021.
521,189 professionals have used our research since 2012.
Add a Comment
ITCS user