Strengths: Fully customizable and flexible UTM with some good features.
Weaknesses: Difficult to configure.
Verdict: A competent UTM that needs another product to realize its potential fully.
The FortiGate is another product we have seen before and not much has changed with this one since we last saw it. This product focuses on three layers of protection. First is a firewall and VPN. The second layer is IPS/IDS. Finally, third is securing content from viruses and spyware, web filtering, and IM and P2P blocking.
We find this product to be of average ease of use. While deployment and installation are quite simple and the product is installed in the environment in just a few minutes, configuration is quite a process. There is no configuration wizard for this appliance and everything, including firewall rules, needs to be setup manually via the web-based GUI. This leaves the configuration open to human error, as well as a lot of trial and error. Policy configuration is kind of difficult and we had some trouble getting the initial policy in place.
With that said, this appliance offers a lot of performance capability. Since everything is fully customizable, from the start there are fewer problems with tweaking an already established default policy and rule set. This offers a great amount of flexibility and gives the ability to have a machine calibrated just the way you want it.
There are several guides available for this appliance. First is the quick start guide, which is a handy fold-out card that describes deployment options and initial setup steps. Other documentation offered include an administrator guide, user guide and various smaller guides, which go more into depth on certain features, such as the command line interface and VPN configuration. All guides are available on a provided CD in PDF format and include many screen shots and configuration examples.
Included with the purchase of the product is 8/5 phone and email support. 24/7 support is also available with a support plan. Users can also access a knowledge base and support portal, which includes update downloads and other support information.
With a price of $3,495 this product is an average value for money. While it does offer a very comprehensive feature set, it is for the experienced administrator and even some may have a bit of troubleshooting to do. Also, most of the analysis capabilities require the FortiAnalyzer, which is sold as a separate device.