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Fortinet FortiSwitch - Secure Access Competitors and Alternatives

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Read reviews of Fortinet FortiSwitch - Secure Access competitors and alternatives

MM
Specialist in Network Security at RayanCo
Real User
Top 20
Flexible admin features and has good firewall filters

Pros and Cons

  • "This is a lower cost product with better features than the competition."
  • "The operating system, Junos OS, often has bugs which forces rollbacks or additional upgrades to resolve."

What is our primary use case?

We use the layer three switches. We use it for routing, separating the VLANs, and for inter-VLAN routing. Also, we use the product's firewall filters.  

How has it helped my organization?

It gives us another, better option for clients in switching technology.  

What is most valuable?

In general, and when I am talking about the Juniper SRX switches that have the Junos operating systems, I find that the admin features are very flexible. For example, the rollbacks or commit confirmed work very well. Fifty configurations can be saved and restored easily. These things are very good for us because it helps us to troubleshoot or to maintain the system. When we have remote access to a device, we can be sure that a process does not get disconnected.  

When you want to change a lot of parameters in a configuration, you make your changes and then you can initiate a commit and all the changes will be saved and will be enforced when the device is activated. These features are available in the Juniper switches with the Junos OS. They are very wonderful and powerful capabilities that are unique to the Juniper switching solution. For example, Cisco or FortiGate do not have similar features or they are not very good with these capabilities.  

What needs improvement?

To make the product better, I think that the company needs to do more testing before releasing versions of the operating system. In many versions, there are bugs in the Junos OS. For example, with some versions of the Junos OS, a specific function or some functions do not work correctly and you have to then change to another version to get the functionality back or make the product stable. Some versions of the Junos OS can create problems in integrations with Citrix and of course in other platforms because the OS has some bugs that cause instability. When you are using or when you find a stable OS, everything works okay. But I have had many experiences with some versions of Junos OS that have bugs and I am forced to migrate to another version of the OS either as an upgrade or even a downgrade. It will work in the end, but it should not be necessary to discover if an OS version is good or not.  

Something that I might like to see added to Juniper switches is the opportunity to use some NAT (Network Address Translation) features with it. I am not sure if it is possible or not. But having some NAT features would be nice and offer some other kinds of flexibility.  

For how long have I used the solution?

We have been using Juniper Ethernet Switches for a little less than two years.  

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

I think for the most part it is a really a very stable product. When I use a stable Junos OS the stability is okay. Some of the OS versions are not so good because they have some bugs, and this can cause some issues with stability. But these are only temporary issues that are resolved by choosing which OS version to use and which to avoid. We have some devices on Juniper that have been running for more than one or even two years without any downtime. We have not had stability issues and we have not had to restart. It really demonstrates stability when you have examples where we have uptime of more than two years without any problems.  

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

I think Juniper is scalable in some ways. Really as far as this capability, I would say it is good, but that scalability is in the middle in the category of switches.  

The number of users who are using this solution is harder to estimate for our clients than it is within our own company. If we are talking about Juniper Ethernet, one client project that we have has between 200 or 250 people. Nearly 40% of the users are going to be systems engineers.  

There are a variety of user and organizational types. Some of the users are office workers and some of them are engineers. Some of them work in financial jobs and some of them are more on the business end. There are a variety of people using the products.  

How are customer service and technical support?

I have not personally really had a reason to contact Juniper's technical support directly. There has been no need because most of the time — it is really 95% of the time — I can say our problems are easily solved by the knowledgebases or forums or by just changing the Junos OS.  

In our company, someone had to contact support because we had some problems with some of the licenses. In that case, we did get support to help us to fix the problem. It was not really a problem with the product, it was about the license only. I do not know about the technical support services directly but I do know the issue was resolved.  

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

In our location, there are not so many companies using Juniper Switches. The use of this brand is somewhat limited here because Juniper is not so popular and is unfortunately not as well-known as other product brands. Cisco switches are much more popular and I have used Cisco switches a lot — more than any other brand — for our clients. I also have experience with Tricom Switches and also with Extreme Networks switches and some experience with Fortinet solutions. We could use any of these depending on the client and the situation. As far as switching from one product to another, that is not exactly what we do. Because we are a reseller we have to have various solutions available, so we keep them all as opportunities for our clients as long as we have tested them and they are good solutions.  

When it came to Juniper, while we had other options, we were really interested in checking out the product and examining how the Juniper switches worked in comparison to the other more popular brands. Because our tests and experience with the product confirmed that it was a good option, we have tried to convince our customers to buy the Juniper solution because it is a good solution and works well even if it was not so popular. We somehow have convinced a few clients to agree to buy the Juniper Switches to this point. But even though we are promoting Juniper, most of the time our clients are gravitating to what they are familiar with and that means purchasing Cisco because they think that the Cisco solution is better just because of the name.  

Another reason that the clients would think the Cisco products were better for them is not only because they do not know the Juniper brand name. One of the other main reasons is that a technical people who have experience in working with Juniper devices are much more scarce than technical people who know how to configure Cisco switches. The product and the name might not be the problem but finding technicians who could work with the solution is the problem instead.  

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup is not complex. It is usually easy. It depends. If you understand the concepts of working with the product — if you already have some experience with it — it is easy to work with it. But if you do not have the experience and do not get the concept, it might seem to be unfriendly. If you can work with it a little and get the concept of how it works and how you should configure it, then it becomes a really friendly format.  

I think it took about one week to configure and deploy the switches. Of course, sometimes we were not working just on that for a whole day, so the number of hours working just on that deployment is something I can not say exactly. But in about one week the deployment was complete. It could have been done faster if it were the only thing that we were concentrating on.  

What about the implementation team?

Most of the time, I do the deployments by myself. But when I have some problems, we have a team that can help out. I might ask them, or I might use the knowledgebases on the internet or search on Google to find solutions. Most of the time there are good, long articles on Juniper's site or in one of the forums that can help me to resolve any issues. There is a lot of knowledge that is readily available. Juniper takes care to publish many good articles. 95% of the time, it is not really hard to solve a problem. If I just go and do a little searching, I can find the information I need to resolve any problem.  

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

The exact licensing is not something I know about, but I do know that Juniper is a less expensive solution when compared to the competition.  

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

Because of some limitations as in regulations or client business requirements, we can not always work with cloud solutions or solutions that run on VMs. There are some solutions I might like to consider, but for the most part, our market will not accept certain solutions. Often we have to work with on-premises hardware and that makes a difference in availability.  

We are continuing to evaluate other solutions in order to be able to meet our clients' needs. The regulations and perception of products may change over time. We use Juniper in our company because we think it is the better solution and we do not have restrictions.  

What other advice do I have?

My advice to people who are considering using Juniper switches is to try them out because the Juniper brand is very good. I myself really like the Juniper devices because, in comparison to other products in this category, they are a very good value and are worth much more than the cost. These switches are much more stable and you have better performance than the other guys, so long as you are aware of the potential issues with the OS. I think I can say this in one sentence: you can have better performance at a lower price if you choose Juniper.  

The biggest lesson I have learned from using Juniper Ethernet switches — besides the fact that the most popular name is not always the best product or the best solution — is that using the commit confirmed feature instead of just committing is very valuable. It can help you to be sure your commit is successful. If it is not for whatever reason, the product deals with the issue. After a certain amount of time, the product can roll back automatically if something did not commit successfully. Not all products have anything like this feature.  

On a scale from one to ten where one is the worst and ten is the best, I would rate Juniper Ethernet Switches as a nine overall. It is a nine and not a ten because there should always be room for product improvement.  

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

Private Cloud
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
IanMacfarlane
ITSM SME at Valencia Advisors IIP
Real User
Top 5
Rock solid, works well, and lets you see port connections and initiate a service request from the device itself

Pros and Cons

  • "Being able to look at every port and see what it is connected to is very useful. Everything seems to be running really well. They've got everything covered. They have a really cool mounting system at the bottom and an access point that you can use to level up your device. It is kind of cool."
  • "It would be great if they can get the price down for small businesses."

What is our primary use case?

I am using it to put it in a secure end-to-end solution in my IT lab. I am using MX65. I have got three Meraki solutions. I have the switch, the access point, and the appliance itself.

What is most valuable?

Being able to look at every port and see what it is connected to is very useful. Everything seems to be running really well. They've got everything covered.

They have a really cool mounting system at the bottom and an access point that you can use to level up your device. It is kind of cool.

What needs improvement?

It would be great if they can get the price down for small businesses.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using this solution for three years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It is rock solid.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

They are after a certain market, that is, the small business market. You wouldn't put a Meraki solution at an enterprise level. That's not the market that they want to go after. You would probably scale up to full Cisco for that.

How are customer service and technical support?

They've always been really good. To be able to get somebody at the end of the line is the real advantage of having a subscription-based solution. I had to wait for maybe three minutes at the most.

You can initiate a service request from the device itself, which is something that not too many companies do. When you're logged into the interface, you can see who your rep is. You have full connection to support. If you want to learn how to configure VLAN, you just click on the support ticket, it generates a ticket. It figures out your number and other information and sends an inquiry ticket with Meraki, and they call you back.

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

I have used a lot of stuff at the lower end, such as SonicWall, Linksys, and TP-link. I have also used the actual Cisco stuff, but it just never worked together. I haven't worked with Ubiquiti, but I believe that they've got a similar product. I haven't been hands-on with Fortinet, but I understand that they have a quite selective setup as well.

In terms of security and intelligence, Linksys and other such solutions tend to be more for the home business, so they are not really competing with each other. Ubiquiti competes with them, but I haven't worked with Ubiquiti.

How was the initial setup?

Its setup is very easy. A kid could do this stuff. It is cloud-based. There is one interface for all three devices. They are all tied together under a web console.

What about the implementation team?

I configured it myself, and I am not a real techie guy.

You need one person for its maintenance. I pretty much do it all myself.

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

They can get the price down for small businesses. The way I bought it, I paid hardly anything, and I got all my licensing with it.

The firewall appliance is around $900, and the switches are around $150. This is for the device itself. For licensing, I signed at $70 or something like that for the switch. Technical Support is included in this.

What other advice do I have?

I wouldn't try and manage any piece of Cisco equipment by itself. You wouldn't want to just buy a Meraki Switch. You wouldn't be able to access it the same way as your firewall. It is only when you start off with an MS cloud appliance, you can add on the Meraki stuff.

I would rate Meraki MS Switches a nine out of ten. They are a good rig.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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AS
Deputy IT Manager at ICAPP (Americana Group)
Real User
Top 5Leaderboard
Reliable, easy to set up, and cost-effective

Pros and Cons

  • "It's a reliable product that you can depend on."
  • "We don't have visibility in Aruba Switches and we are thinking of switching to Fortiswitch because it has visibility."

What is our primary use case?

The primary use case of this solution is as the edge and the core switches for our company network.

We are working on an ERP system, domain controller, warehouse management, Salesforce automation, and many other applications.

What is most valuable?

It's a reliable product that you can depend on. 

You can use it for a long time without any issues.

What needs improvement?

Visibility needs improvement. We don't have visibility in Aruba Switches and we are thinking of switching to FortiSwitch because it has visibility. 

Currently, we have visibility and compatibility with the firewall. Through the firewall, we can see the entire network.

They are not very active with this solution. There is no followup with the vendors and resellers, they do not contact us to inform us of new technologies as they do with Cisco and Fortinet. Other vendors are more active in the community.

In the next release, I would like to see visibility included, as well as better integration with other platforms. 

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been working wit Aruba Switches for approximately 11 years.

We are working with the 251 and 190 series.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

Aruba switches are stable, but we have a few that are hanging.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Aruba Switches are scalable.

We have more than 1,000 users in our company. We have 15 administrators and four people to maintain the network. 

How are customer service and technical support?

Technical support is moderate, not excellent. We have been waiting for more than two months for our switches that are hanging to be replaced.

Maintenance and after-sales service are not good.

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

We started with Aruba a long time ago when they were originally 3Com Switches.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup is straightforward, not complex.

Cisco is more complex than Aruba is.

What about the implementation team?

We have many resellers and system integrators in our country, including Cisco and Fortinet.

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

There are no licenses, you just purchase the switch. 

Comparing with Cisco, and some other solutions, it's a cheap product.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We are considering migrating from Aruba to possibly Cisco, or to Fortinet FortiSwitch.

We are comparing and conducting studies in order to move forward.

What other advice do I have?

We have experience working in networking products, high-security products like firewalls, switches, and all data center products.

We would happy to use Aruba Switches in the future if there are new technologies that meet our requirements, and our needs regarding visibility. Having visibility in the entire network and to see all of the parts of the network is something that is important to us.

In general, I recommend Aruba Switches.

I would rate this solution an eight out of ten.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

On-premises
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
Mahmood Shah
Solutions architect at NetSys
Real User
Top 10
Good load balancing and multi-routing with a good user interface

Pros and Cons

  • "The solution offers very good multi-routing."
  • "The solution needs to improve its security firewalls and mirror that of, for example, Sophos, or FortiGate."

What is our primary use case?

I primarily use the solution as a firewall, and for routing purposes, and for multi-band load balancing. 

What is most valuable?

The load balancing is very good.

The solution offers very good multi-routing.

The firewall is very good.

For the interface, I always use Winbox.

What needs improvement?

The MikroTik weblog, web user log, was supposed to be remotely accessible. However, it was not as good as I had wanted it to be. I found its functionality disappointing. There's no proper interface. They show only IPs but not the DNS address or complete address. It only shows the IP addresses. Also, they only show real-time data and not the history of the user's log address. We would like to see a history on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis.

The solution needs to improve its security firewalls and mirror that of, for example, Sophos, or FortiGate.

The solution needs to focus on UTM in its devices.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have about five years of experience working with this solution.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

We've found the stability of the solution to be good enough.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

The solution is quite easy to scale. We haven't had any problems expanding the solution when we need to.

How are customer service and technical support?

I've never contacted technical support. If I have issues with the solution, I try to handle it myself. So far, I've never needed anyone else's assistance.

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

I've previously used FortiGate and Fortinet devices. They have very good security and firewalls.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup is a little bit complex for beginners. It's difficult to install the router and for initializing from the beginning all of the configurations we need, like setting up the initial firewall rules, for example.

If a user knows all the basic steps, the deployment only takes about ten to 15 minutes.

What about the implementation team?

I handled the implementation myself. I didn't need the assistance of an integrator or reseller.

What other advice do I have?

I'd warn others that a tutorial or a bit of learning is required before beginning. It helps if a user has a bit of understanding about the solution. There's some complexity in the terminologies and surrounding the initial implementation process.

Overall, it's a good product, but it requires a bit of improvement, especially in relation to UTM and security.

I'd rate it eight out of ten.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

On-premises
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
CZ
Network Operations Specialists at a comms service provider with 501-1,000 employees
Real User
Top 5
A flexible and cost-effecting product with powerful scripting capability

Pros and Cons

  • "The wiki page that describes the scripting and other features is very good."
  • "Improvements are needed with respect to some of the security, especially for VPN links between vendors other than Cisco."

What is our primary use case?

We use this product as part of our network solution, but we also have customers in Cameroon that we have implemented it for. We design their systems at a low cost, implement them, and then provide training.

What is most valuable?

The most valuable feature is the flexibility within the advanced configuration.

IDS and IPS are very good.

The wiki page that describes the scripting and other features is very good. It is quite impressive for new users who want to learn about MikroTik.

What needs improvement?

Improvements are needed with respect to some of the security, especially for VPN links between vendors other than Cisco. For example, what works between MikroTik and Cisco does not work as well between MikroTik and Fortinet. I have seen some bugs.

The certification process should be improved.

Have localized or regional pricing would be an improvement.

I would like to see GPS tools embedded into the devices.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been working with this product for seven years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

This is a stable product.

How are customer service and technical support?

I do not generally contact technical support. I have had to do some reading on issues that I was having, and I have always been able to find a solution. I have never had the kind of problem that necessitated calling support.

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

I have worked with solutions from Cisco, Juniper, and Fortinet. The type of project dictates which product works best in the environment.

How was the initial setup?

I find the initial setup to be easy. It may be more complex for people just getting started within MikroTik, although it should be straightforward even for junior engineers.

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

MikroTik is really cheap compared to the competitors. They are the cheapest ones in Cameroon except for Ubiquiti at the router level.

What other advice do I have?

This solution has improved a great deal over time and in many domains. They have hired experts from around the world, from vendors such as Cisco, to help improve the product. Some examples are scripting has improved, along with advanced routing techniques, and wireless device support. However, the biggest improvements are in cloud routers.

Normally, every two months at the maximum, new updates and firmware is released for the devices. It is really amazing. It is like the developers do not sleep at all. I am consistently impressed with how their technology is advancing.

Overall, this is a product that works well.

I would rate this solution a ten out of ten.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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