Fortinet FortiWLM Initial Setup

Rick Williams
Network Engineer at a university with 201-500 employees
The setup of the FortiAPs is very straightforward and very easy to do. We chose to pre-deploy them, because of how we were going to have to deploy them, so that I had a team put them up and they were already labeled, because of the quantity that we were doing. Pre-deploying them, so the system already had the names on them, made it a little easier. All I had to is have people go hook them up. Once they hooked them up, I could complete the configuration, and it was super-easy, super-fast. When we did the initial deployment, we did one building in one day, and we monitored that building and watched for any issues, to make sure that we had the settings and configuration correct. Then we turned around and we did the remaining nine buildings in a week. That was a total of 400 APs. It went really smoothly. The interface and the original setup make it really easy. I was able to have a bunch of people putting them online and, as they did, I could see them come online. The way that the interface is built, being able to assign a profile, and having all that pre-built, it went really quickly. Our deployment strategy was a staged implementation. Originally, we did a test, just to make sure we were going to be happy with the performance. Then, when we did the one building, that was the model. We had a little bit of time between that building and the rest, so we could tweak the implementation. That really assisted in us being able to do the number that we did in that short amount of time. When I say it took us a week to do all those buildings, that included not just the AP part of it, but all the things we had to do to the network to allow everything to work. In a school setting, it's a lot more in depth, because that includes filtering which is a great deal more detailed than it is in most enterprises. The neat thing about Fortinet technology is that it's so intuitive, it's so easy to use, anybody who is a network engineer is able to understand the technology and get it working pretty well. Documentation, cookbooks, and videos are available to help you. If you ever need any help, calling the Support Desk you get right through and they'll point you in the right direction. Through the whole deployment, I only had two or three calls to them, and they were more about best practices: "We're doing it this way, would it be better if we did it the other way?" In some instances they said, "Well, you probably oughta test it." We did some testing so that we were able to make sure that we had the best solution for our situation. We started testing about two years ago and deployed it across the entire school corporation about a year ago. View full review »
Panduka Samarasinghe Cissp
Security Pre-Sales Engineer - Southern Reigion at a tech services company with 51-200 employees
If it's an industrial setup, it's a bit complex. You need to know what you're doing. An everyday manager wouldn't be able to set it up properly because you need to know how to secure it properly and set all the settings. For an industrial deployment, if you get engineers who are knowledgeable, it would be pretty easy for them. They could set it up within a day. The integrated WiFi, where you connect the AP to the FortiGate, will take a couple of minutes. The cloud WiFi is actually a zero-touch deployment. You can just ship it to a branch office, have them connect it to the internet, and it will configure itself automatically. In terms of an implementation strategy for an industrial deployment, the first step would be to do a proper wireless survey by somebody who understands the field. Something that I have seen, where most people go wrong, is that the network engineers or the network administrator in the company think they how to design the network. In the diagram they place the APs where they think would be the optimal placements. Later on, when they've done the purchase and setting up, they figure out it's not optimal. Either they have wasted money by putting in too many APs, or they have not assigned enough APs to power the entire network. When it comes to wireless LAN networks, step number one should be getting a proper WiFi survey done to suit your requirements. After that it's easy. The survey requires just one person. For a deployment, I'm not sure how many people will be required to set up the APs, because if it's a big conventional hall, for example, then you are going to need some professional people doing the WiFi mounting, etc. After that, configuration-wise, it is a one-person job. I don't think that any organization will have somebody who is qualified to do a deployment by themselves. This is a niche product. If a company is going to introduce Fortinet Wireless into their network, the IT administrators would not know how to configure it. They would have to get somebody who knows it. After that, they could get training for maintaining it. The administration will then take just one person. View full review »
IT and IT Security Consulting at MacTaggart IT Security
The difficulty of the initial setup probably depends a lot on the level of user who is trying to use it. In the beginning, it took me only one day to do the setup because I had some similar experience. It took me one day for Aruba and it took me one day for Fortinet. The average, intelligent person can learn to set up this solution in a short period of time. But I would not say that it is intuitive for just anyone. You have to learn some theory about the controller and what the controller is doing. You have to read a few manuals. But it is almost intuitive, in general, and easy if you have some experience and are willing to learn. It is not made for a common laborer or for a housewife. It is made for an engineer who can read the manual and understand what is supposed to happen. It is quite usable in that case. View full review »
Learn what your peers think about Fortinet FortiWLM. Get advice and tips from experienced pros sharing their opinions. Updated: April 2020.
431,275 professionals have used our research since 2012.
Antonio Acevedo Boguer
Setting up the solution is really straightforward. The amount of time it takes depends on the customer. If it's a really big customer, the implementation process could take from three months to almost ten months. Once you have all the plans and you start installing, it's really straightforward and it can move fast. For Mexico, a big customer is the one that has more than 200 retail stores. They are not as big as in the U.S. or in other countries, but for Mexico, a retail store that has 250 stores is a huge company. The deployment strategy depends on the project manager and his staff. Because we are telecom service providers, we usually start with all the internet connections, and voice and data connection, using fibre. Once we have all that in place, we start building the local area networks. In terms of deployment and maintenance, on average, I would estimate it's about eight to ten percent of the investment. It depends on the customer and the approach we have with the customer. We usually have two or three engineers, per customer, giving support. But that's not just for the wireless, that's also for the networking. For a huge retail company, we may have between five and ten certified engineers working on daily support for the customer. View full review »
Senior Technical Support Executive with 11-50 employees
The initial setup is easy and user-friendly. The deployment is highly efficient, and it may take 25 minutes to configure if you have a maximum of ten access points. At most, it may take three to four hours. View full review »
Senior Network Engineer at a K-12 educational company or school with 10,001+ employees
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. View full review »
Service Delivery Manager at ZAVASI TECHNOLOGIES PVT LTD
In many of my other previous companies, Fortinet Wireless has been used. I haven't had many challenges. Apart from that, when I became a system integrator, I found that It's really good when comparing it to any other product or it is much better in terms of features that the customer requires. View full review »
Learn what your peers think about Fortinet FortiWLM. Get advice and tips from experienced pros sharing their opinions. Updated: April 2020.
431,275 professionals have used our research since 2012.