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Fortinet gets into the SSL VPN game

Fortinet gets into the SSL VPN game

There's a new name in SSL VPNs and it is Fortinet. The company is adding SSL VPN software to the standard package loaded on its FortiGate hardware, making it an SSL VPN gateway in addition to all the other stuff it does.

Fortinet makes the case that branch offices and small businesses often don't have the IT staff to take care of lots of different networking equipment, so it has developed a multi-function platform that corporate customers can drop into branch offices and manage from afar. No on-site IT staff is needed.

The company also makes much bigger boxes for large corporate sites and service providers.

With the addition of SSL VPN support, the FortiGate boxes can now act as a firewall, IPSec or SSL VPN concentrator, URL/spam filter and traffic shaper.

In addition, the platforms can failover, maintaining firewall and VPN state so end users don't feel the switchover.

All the technology is homegrown so these multifunction platforms are subject to the same criticism that all multifunction platforms are: If you want so-called best-of-breed products, you still have to buy from different vendors. The tradeoff is if you buy the multi-function platform, you don't have to shop around for each application, and you don't have to train your staff with multiple vendors.

In the case of Fortinet, this also means you get a range of devices to choose from for small offices to data centers.

The gear might also show up in a corporate network as customer-site equipment placed there by a network provider that manages it as part of a service.

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