Strengths: Very powerful security solution with excellent management tools.
Weaknesses: Very noisy fan could deter firms without a dedicated server room.
Verdict: A worthy enterprise contender.
After initially firing up the 1U FortiMail-400, we were distressed by the very loud noise from its fan, which means the device should definitely be housed in a dedicated server room.
FortiMail is shipped with comprehensive anti-spam and anti-virus functions, while its email archiving functionality and quota limits will be welcomed by all organizations feeling the growing pressure to keep up with ever-tighter compliance regulations. Archiving can be set up to store data either actually on the FortiMail, or on a remote host.
As we have come to expect from Fortinet, the supplied documentation was excellent, with a very well-designed and easy-to-use quick-start guide augmented by extremely comprehensive manuals.
Initial configuration was directly via the console with the RJ45-to-DB9 lead supplied with the unit. We logged into the initial menu to set up basic network parameters and the DNS IP address via the HyperTerminal interface.
However, having done this, we were unable at first to access the web-based interface and tried unsuccessfully, for some time, to log in to this system.
It was only after we had thought of going back to actually manually reassign the management IP address and subnet of the device through the HyperTerminal that we were able to then access it through the web GUI.
An investigation of the log files on the unit indicated that another reviewer had tested the device before us and had changed the defaults. Fortinet claims that set-up would have been much easier in its factory default configuration, and the documentation backs this up.
Having finally accessed the web-based console, we were able to view the status of the machine and perform basic tasks, such as updating anti-virus signatures.
It is a simple matter to set up usage policies for anti-spam, anti-virus and content filtering from this well-designed interface.
Logging here is impressive. You can send log files to a local host or store them on the device’s hard drive. You can also set the level at which these logs are recorded.