Choosing the Right Solution for Cloud Firewallv1.0

A GigaOm Use Case and TCO Analysis Report

Table of Contents

  1. Executive Summary
  2. The Cloud Firewall Challenge
  3. Scenario Comparison
  4. Cost Comparison
  5. Analyst’s Take
  6. Appendix: Fortinet FortiGate and Azure Premium Firewall Compared
  7. About Paul Stringfellow

1. Executive Summary

Transitioning a company’s applications to the cloud—whether cloud-only, multicloud, or hybrid cloud—introduces significant challenges, foremost among them being the impact the transition has on security. While organizations recognize that securing cloud infrastructure is a relatively new discipline for IT teams, it does not change either its importance or upon whom the responsibility for security lies.

One of the most challenging areas in securing these new cloud-based infrastructures is the perimeter. Perimeter security has traditionally been delivered by enterprise-class firewalls in the corporate data center with easily defined network edges. However, the introduction of cloud and our changing work patterns have dramatically changed the idea of the perimeter, making it no longer easy to define, let alone protected.

This research analyzes the question of how we use evolving firewall technologies to secure modern cloud infrastructures. To do this, we have researched two distinct approaches: a proprietary firewall solution from Microsoft (Azure Firewall) and a next-generation hybrid firewall solution from security vendor Fortinet.

Our research uncovered how the consistency, broad coverage, extensive integration, and improved management and orchestration across all locations offered by Fortinet’s security fabric were delivered.

  • Reduced complexity: A consistent mesh approach can reduce operational costs by 30% and infrastructure costs by 20%, all while improving security.
  • Value of the single vendor: A single-vendor approach greatly reduces security complexity across a complex infrastructure. Reduced complexity also reduces security threats, operational overhead, and time to deploy new secure infrastructure and applications—across multiple locations and multiple clouds.
  • Effective security today and in the future: The security demands and challenges in the enterprise continue to evolve. It is essential that security partners can match the rising speed of change. Fortinet showed how it is not only capable of meeting today’s needs but also has the vision and capability to meet future ones.

Our research also provided validation of claims from Fortinet that its solution, when compared to Microsoft’s Azure firewall, will:

  • Enable more effective security
  • Reduce complexity
  • Provide cost benefit in a hybrid, cloud, and multicloud environment
  • Deliver better tools to meet future demands

This report is structured to guide executives, architects, and purchasing teams when making technology purchasing decisions.

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