Fortinet has released virtual appliance versions of its Fortigate unified threat management (UTM) and FortiManager central management tool for managing both virtual and physical appliances through a common console across the enterprise network. FortiGate Virtual Appliance enables companies investing in virtual infrastructure a way to deploy security inside that environment. The options of virtual or hybrid security, mixing security appliance form factors to suit the environment, gives enterprises flexible deployment options and virtualization-specific protection.
FortiGate Virtual Appliance is installed as a virtual machine on a given host and can scan and enforce policy-based controls between the physical network and the VM clients, as well as between clients. FortiGate's UTM features, baked into its FortiOS, include firewall SSL and IPSec VPN, IPS, antivirus, Web filtering and antispam. The virtual appliances support VMware ESXi/ESX versions 3.5/4.0/4.1, but are delivered in Open Virtualization Format (OVF) so that it can be installed on any hypervisor.
The virtual appliance shares all the capabilities of its hardware appliances, most significantly their virtual domain or VDOM technology. VDOM and VLAN technologies allow one appliance to logically replicate itself to apply security to and enforce security between multiple zones consisting of single protected assets or groups of assets. This capability allows service providers to deploy single appliances to service large numbers of customers in a multi-tenant environment or large enterprises to physically consolidate security for different business units. VDOM can be any collection of assets that have their own security requirements. So, the virtual appliance can apply VDOM zoning to guest VMs.
"Some of the pain points where companies are looking for relief include scalability, flexibility and cost savings in moving to virtual security appliances," said John Grady, senior research analyst for security products and services at IDC. Also, they will see better security, depending on how virtualized their architecture is."
FortiManager Virtual Appliance gives enterprises deployment options to manage all physical and virtual Fortinet security devices through a single platform. FortiManager provides policy-based provisioning, device/agent configuration, update management and an XML API to integrate with middleware for automation. It can manage up to 5,000 Fortinet devices and 120,000 FortiClient endpoint agents. ForitGate and FortiManager virtual appliances are available now. Fortinet also announced virtual appliance versions of it FortiAnalyzer log aggregation, correlation and analysis tool (available in late Q4) and FortiMail e-mail security (available in Q1 2011). FortiGate Virtual Appliance licensing is based on number of CPUs; pricing is $9,995 (2 CPU); $14,995 (4 CPU) and $29,995 (8 CPU). FortiManager Virtual Appliance licensing is based on number of managed devices and client agents and cost starts at $22,495.