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Key Criteria for SD-WAN

Table of Contents

  1. Summary
  2. About the Vendor Profile
  3. Key Criteria Analysis
  4. Vendor Evaluation
  5. Analyst’s Take

1. Summary

Fortinet is a cybersecurity company founded by Ken and Michael Xie in 2000. The company shipped its first product in 2002 and had its IPO in 2009. Since then, Fortinet has shipped over 5 million devices to nearly 450,000 customers and has been issued almost 700 patents. It currently reports over 21,000 customers using its SD-WAN functionality, making Fortinet the most widely adopted SD-WAN platform on the market.

Fortinet was the first vendor to enable SD-WAN as a feature in a next-generation firewall (NGFW), adding it as a configurable option on all existing FortiGate next-generation firewalls in 2016. Fortinet Secure SD-WAN is one piece of Fortinet Security Fabric, which strategically organizes the Fortinet product suite to provide network security and SD-WAN services, switching and wireless access, network access control, authentication, public and private cloud security, endpoint security, and AI-driven advanced threat protection. Two products tie this all together. FortiManager provides a true ‘single pane of glass’ management console for all Fortinet products. It supports all form factors and a single appliance can scale up to manage 100,000 sites. FortiGuard provides unified threat intelligence across the portfolio.

Fortinet is unique in that it designs and builds its own ASIC (application-specific integrated circuit), currently the FortiSOC4. The company credits this feature for the advantage it enjoys in both performance and feature set. For example, the FortiGate product combines routing, WAN optimization, and NGFW features into a single device. FortiGate includes built-in wireless and switch controllers, using the proprietary FortiLink protocol to manage all devices at a branch, and is also available as a virtual machine across all major hypervisors and public clouds. In addition, Fortinet offers at least 21 additional products and services across areas such as network security, network access, cloud security, and security operations.