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Fortinet Aims To Secure High-End Networks

Fortinet added a new load-balancing switch and security blade to its high-end network security infrastructure line for carriers and large enterprises in late May.

switch blade

The FortiController 5208 is a blade that also acts as a switch to distribute traffic to other blades and handle load balancing between them. The FortiGate 5005 security blade supports modules for firewall, antivirus, antispyware, antispam, VPN and intrusion prevention. The two devices work together as a solution providing security at 10 Gigabit Ethernet speeds, and the FortiGate 5005 blade can operate as a stand-alone security solution, said Anthony James, director of project management at Fortinet.

The Sunnyvale, Calif.-based company’s new products are a reflection of the rising demand in the market for solutions that enhance internal and perimeter security, James said. “Companies can take both [products] and handle security processing with a small amount of bandwidth, as well as scale up the [number of] processors they need for the bandwidth they’re consuming,” he said.

The new products are compliant with the Advanced Telecom Computing Architecture (ATCA), an industry standardization effort aimed at improving the reliability and manageability of high-speed networking technologies and next-generation processors, James added.

Jeff McConocha, president of NCS Datacom, a Cleveland-based solution provider whose customers include hospitals and universities, said load balancing is important in large network environments. “There’s a need for high bandwidth and security that can handle it, especially in the medical field where you are passing a lot of data through the switch,” McConocha said. “Being able to do load balancing instead of just setting up high availability is a key feature.”

Ryan Hesson, president of Macer Technology, a solution provider in Houston, said Fortinet’s throughput speeds are the fastest of any vendor he has seen, and moving to 10 Gigabit Ethernet speeds is a “natural progression” for the vendor. Fortinet’s products provide a high level of protection against threats without affecting network performance, Hesson added.

The FortiController 5208 load-balancing switch includes two 10 Gigabit Ethernet interfaces and eight Gigabit Ethernet interfaces and is priced at $44,995. The FortiGate 5005 is priced at $32,995. Both will be available in the second half of 2006.

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