Fortinet Fires Up Managed Services

Its new FortiManager-3000 management device targets the market for managed security services

November 11, 2004

2 Min Read
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Fortinet Inc. has overhauled the technology used to centrally manage its FortiGate firewalls in an attempt to crack the lucrative market for managed security services.

Also targeted at enterprises and carriers, the new FortiManager-3000 takes over from the FortiManager-400 appliance as the companys high-end management device. Whereas the 400 could handle up to 1,000 FortiGate firewalls, the 3000 can cope with up to 5,000, according to execs at the Sunnyvale, Calif.-based vendor.

But this is not the only difference. The 1-rack-unit-high 400 has no Gigabit Ethernet ports, whereas the 2U 3000 comes with two Gigabit Ethernet ports fitted as standard. Other enhancements include redundant power supplies and fans.

With service providers looking to deploy an increasing number of products to their customers, security is becoming of paramount importance. Earlier this year Light Reading Insider identified managed security services as the hottest ticket to high-margin, recurring profit for telecom providers (see Managed Security Services Pipe Up).

Fortinet is not the only vendor alive to this trend. Rivals Check Point Software Technologies Ltd. (Nasdaq: CHKP) and Juniper Networks Inc. (Nasdaq: JNPR) also offer products capable of managing multiple firewalls. Check Point even has a specialized service provider offering entitled Provider-1, which is part of its SMART Management suite of products.But there is one big difference between these products and Fortinet’s: Juniper and CheckPoint’s firewall management products are software-based. Jon Oltsik, senior analyst at The Enterprise Strategy Group Inc. believes that Fortinet’s commitment to a hardware-based system could be a key selling point.

”You should be able to put this device into your network quite quickly and it will be up and running, searching for FortiGate devices, within a short period of time,” he says.

Oltsik believes that using a dedicated device can save users the trouble of tinkering with the servers supporting management software: “Put it in your network, turn it on, and leave it alone. This means that that you are not increasing your management burden."

But Oltsik warns that Fortinet may have trouble finding managed service providers that have 5,000 firewalls. “There aren’t many managed security service providers that have that type of scale -- but for enterprises that buy thousands of the [FortiGate] boxes it could be a good fit."

— James Rogers, Site Editor, Next-gen Data Center Forum0

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