Fortinet FortiWLM Valuable Features

Rick Williams
Network Engineer at a university with 201-500 employees
The most valuable feature for us is the way everything is accessible through FortiGate. Having that single pane of glass to see everything makes it really easy to use, to set up and design the SSIDs and the interaction with the VLANs that you create. It just makes it that much easier. We can deploy a tunnel-based VLAN and SSID, for something that happens at the last minute, in a matter of minutes, because of the interaction between the FortiGate, the FortiSwitches, and the FortiAPs. The thing we like best about the single pane of glass is that by looking at the screen on the FortiGate, we're able to actually see the status of the access points. It pulls in client data from the access points, so we can see who is connected and the connections that are working. We can follow the connection all the way through the firewall, to the end destination. It really assists in troubleshooting any kind of connection issue or filtering issue we may have. In terms of the Fortinet Security Fabric, one of the reasons we kept expanding with, and choosing, Fortinet products is because of that Security Fabric. We are continuing to expand on that. Currently, we have, of course, the FortiGate, and that Fabric is extended to the FortiSwitches we use, the FortiAPs, as well as the FortiAnalyzer, which is used to collect logs from all the devices, from both the wireless and the FortiGate. An example of how that's helpful is, if we're trying to troubleshoot a problem - and being a school, we filter data heavily - it takes a while, sometimes, to track down a problem that users might be having with a website. With it all being tied together, we're able to actually trace it right down to what website might be categorized incorrectly, so we can get that corrected so that the users aren't interrupted. We also have the FortiAuthenticator which authenticates users seamlessly with the FortiClient that's on their devices. It also polls Active Directory Servers, so we have transparent identification of all of our users. That allows our devices to get on the network, yet they're viewable: We know who it is, what device it is, and we can track it all the way to where they're going, without any interaction from the user. It makes it a lot simpler to manage a large number of people and devices. View full review »
Panduka Samarasinghe Cissp
Security Pre-Sales Engineer - Southern Reigion at a tech services company with 51-200 employees
One valuable feature that comes to mind is the Network-In-Control. Usually, when there's WiFi, it's the WiFi client - your phone - that decides which AP to stick to. Your phone will stick with the closest AP, even though there may be another AP that's a bit farther away that has better bandwidth. Since your phone only decides based on the strongest signal, it would stick to the one with the stronger signal, the one that may not have enough bandwidth. But with Fortinet, there is a feature called Network-In-Control. It's the AP controller that decides what the clients are going to connect to. In this case, the phone doesn't choose which AP you're connecting to, it's the wireless AP controller. Even though your phone sees, let's say, two APs, since the wireless controller has visibility into and access across all the APs, it knows the best AP for the client to connect to. This way, the controller makes sure that none of the APs is over-crowded, and the spectrum is used properly. Fortinet Wireless has two appliances. The first thing is the wireless controller which does the AP setup and controlling. But it's the Fortinet Wireless Manager that gives you all the visibility, the logging and monitoring, etc. If you do have a FortiGate Firewall somewhere in the network, you can connect the wireless controller to that. The Fortinet holistic approach is called the Security Fabric. That is the single-pane management for every Fortinet product in a single network. You get 100 percent visibility from a single point, which is, most of the time, the FortiGate. You can see everything that's connected to the FortiGate, whether it's a switch or a wireless AP or a wireless controller or any other Fortinet product. If you connect them through the Security Fabric you can actually see what's happening from end to end. If you're at the perimeter FortiGate and there's a client that's connecting through it, maybe six floors down the line, you can just go and have a look at the client end point from the perimeter FortiGate. And if that end point is compromised you can take it off the network easily. View full review »
PeterMacTaggart
IT and IT Security Consulting at MacTaggart IT Security
The concept of V2R cell services [similar to wifi hotspot technology], is a concept where a controller monitors the access points in the installation. It is possible to reduce the transmission power and that can reduce exposure of users and the community to the electrobiological effects of wifi. The goal is to try to reduce the radio power necessary and to only transmit the signal that you have to transmit to reach the access point. In my work, I try to protect people from electronic emissions and V2R is one of my weapons against the current problems with exposure to wifi. You do not have to go blindly like Norway does and transmit with 100 milliwatts or 200 milliwatts of exposure if you have a better solution like V2R. So the concepts where the controller is involved must be used in order to reach these goals at this time. In the Aruba product there is also a solution for the controller, but it does not do as much as the Fortinet. So Fortinet is alone on the ground level with this new concept. On the other hand, the V2R cell solution has a limited lifespan because we know that wifi six is coming up. Wifi six is solving the transmission problems of wifi roaming in a different way. But for now, there is no competition for the V2R cell. 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
User
Security is the feature we like most from Fortinet. In general, their security architecture is really great, because it involves everything: firewalls, wireless LANs, the user. Everything is really secure. That's a great feature from Fortinet. It's very valuable. View full review »
Piyush-Patel
Senior Technical Support Executive with 11-50 employees
The most valuable feature is the ability to connect and broadcast to different networks without using a VLAN or a layer two switch, which allows you to easily create guest networks. This is a very useful and very different feature compared to other solutions on the market. In every customer meeting, this is the feature that we highlight. The solution is easy to use and the GUI is user-friendly. View full review »
SnrNetEng237
Senior Network Engineer at a K-12 educational company or school with 10,001+ employees
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). View full review »
Suresh Sharma
Sr. Technical Executive at a K-12 educational company or school with 1,001-5,000 employees
All their features are common. Nothing more. All the features are controlled behind the Fortinet firewall. Is there any wireless controller to balance the load? Or what report do they give for the stated purpose? Basically, we need to put more focus on the reporting end for their sustainability. View full review »
Dilip_Kumar
Service Delivery Manager at ZAVASI TECHNOLOGIES PVT LTD
We are similar to our customer implementation. We provide a switch, we have provided even the firewall, Apache, and SolarWinds solutions. So when we are talking about Apache, completely it is taken out first. Then monitoring or patching with iPhones, it is much better. It is very simplified when comparing it to any other product. I think the product doesn't have challenges. I didn't find any challenges with Fortinet Wireless. View full review »
Emerson Luis De Oliveira
User at Tilibra
The firewall integration is very important for the security of the connection. For each SSID it's possible to create rules to specify connections. 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.