Fortinet Presents at NFD30
Fortinet presented at NFD30 last week and this was my first real in-depth look at Fortinet. I’ve never deployed their products, and I haven’t used, or even completed any of their training. All my experience up until now has been very passive. I’ve heard a lot about them from various people I work with as well as friends that are IT Practitioners. So, as the presentation began I listened intently, and with an open mind.
What Fortinet Presented On
Throughout the presentation, we heard from them on several topics. First, we got a great overview of Fortinet the company. As someone who didn’t have a ton of previous experience with Fortinet, this was very helpful.
Next, we heard from them on their FortiSwitch line. I didn’t even know they sold switches let alone had an entire line of them! The FortiSwitches can be managed from the same dashboard found on the firewalls. So, if you already deploy Fortinet to the edge this is a pretty logical next step. If you don’t have Fortinet Firewalls you can always deploy FortiManager and get the same centralized management experience.
Next up were the topics of SD-WAN and SASE. One thing that I have heard through second-hand experience is that in a world full of SD-WAN solutions Fortinet has a very compelling SD-WAN offering.
Also, included were some live demonstrations of the deployment of FortiSwitches and the Fortinet SD-WAN/SASE solution.
Overall, great presentation. The speakers knew their audience and were engaging. They handled all of our questions with grace and professionalism.
What I heard
So, I summarized their presentation because if you really want to know what they presented on, you can go watch it. Just head over to TechFieldDay.com. I want to talk about the stuff they weren’t directly presenting.
Throughout the entire presentation, I heard and saw a few things that really, really stuck out to me:
Consistent user experience: No matter what Fortinet product you deployed there was this consistent user experience that their customers are getting. Now, they have a couple of different front-ends that have some varying UIs. The Fortinet Firewalls can centrally manage products, then there is FortiManager and a Cloud offering of FortiManager.
Simple Licensing: This is huge! In a world where vendors only want to charge you for what you’re using the end result is a nickel-and-diming for features. Fortinet’s licensing is simple, 1 license = all the features.
Fortinet knows its customers and they know the market. Almost everyone at Fortinet has a history with another vendor or two and they heard what the customers were asking for. When the vendor they were working for wouldn’t deliver on that they left and went to Fortinet which is working on delivering the things their customers are really asking for.
To me, this is the race of the Tortoise and the Hare. As some of the Delegates, last week pointed out some of Fortinet’s offerings need some time to mature. But as they continue to mature, and catch up, and if they hold onto these roots they have today – like the consistent user experience and simple licensing, I can see Fortinet as a really strong competitor in the Networking space, even more so than they are today. And, just like the tortoise and the hare, slow and steady will win the race.
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