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Fortinet FortiManager OverviewUNIXBusinessApplication

Fortinet FortiManager is #1 ranked solution in top Network Management Applications. PeerSpot users give Fortinet FortiManager an average rating of 8 out of 10. Fortinet FortiManager is most commonly compared to Fortinet FortiGate Cloud: Fortinet FortiManager vs Fortinet FortiGate Cloud. Fortinet FortiManager is popular among the large enterprise segment, accounting for 56% of users researching this solution on PeerSpot. The top industry researching this solution are professionals from a comms service provider, accounting for 29% of all views.
Fortinet FortiManager Buyer's Guide

Download the Fortinet FortiManager Buyer's Guide including reviews and more. Updated: June 2022

What is Fortinet FortiManager?

Networks are constantly evolving due to threats, organizational growth, or new regulatory/business requirements. Traditional management products focus on mitigating company-wide threats through firewall policies, firmware updates, and keeping content security current. FortiManager offers the features to contain threats as well as providing flexibility to evolve along with your ever-changing network.

Fortinet FortiManager Customers

Black Gold Regional Schools, Amadeus Hospitality, Jefferson County, Chunghwa Telecom, City of Boroondara, Dimension Data

Fortinet FortiManager Video

Archived Fortinet FortiManager Reviews (more than two years old)

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Slawomir Napiorkowski - PeerSpot reviewer
Architect at IT Systems and Solutions sp. z o.o.
Real User
Good central management capability that simplifies work and saves us time
Pros and Cons
  • "The most valuable feature is the central configuration for firewall policies."
  • "Having FortiManager work with all of the Fortinet products would be a good improvement."

What is our primary use case?

FortiManager is used for centrally managing many FortiGate firewalls. It is a very good solution if you are using several of them.

What is most valuable?

The most valuable feature is the central configuration for firewall policies. This simplifies the management of many devices and acts as a central firewall policy object. It is sometimes used to deploy a VPN, where that is used to connect many FortiGate instances. You don't need to log in to the devices many times. Instead, you can locally manage and copy the configuration to several of them.

What needs improvement?

Fortinet develops many different solutions but only some of them can be managed using FortiManager. For example, if you have a load balancer then you have to have a separate manager. Having FortiManager work with all of the Fortinet products would be a good improvement.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

Some older versions of FortiManager, perhaps three or four years ago, had some issues with instability due to bugs. However, now, it is a very stable product.
Buyer's Guide
Fortinet FortiManager
June 2022
Learn what your peers think about Fortinet FortiManager. Get advice and tips from experienced pros sharing their opinions. Updated: June 2022.
609,272 professionals have used our research since 2012.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

It is easy to scale, although it can be costly. There is a limit to the number of devices that it can support, but additional FortiManagers can be used in this case.

How are customer service and support?

I have been in contact with the Fortinet technical support several times, and the support is good. The people are nice and they will also help you online.

How was the initial setup?

Until you have experience with it, this device is not simple to set up. You have to spend perhaps five to seven days to configure it properly, including the automation of certain tasks. If you have a single person for the implementation, it will take approximately two weeks to deploy.

What other advice do I have?

Overall, I find that this is a good solution and it gives me everything that I want. I would recommend it and people should definitely try it. I would rate this solution an eight out of ten.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

On-premises
Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Partner
Consultant at DNS, a.s.
Reseller
You can see if workstations or services are affected by an attack with a simple click
Pros and Cons
  • "For the whole security fabric from Fortinet, with a simple click you can see if some workstations or services are affected by an attack. You can really easily quarantine it, check the solution, and fix it."
  • "Fortinet is releasing quite a lot of new versions and I would say that most of the versions are not well tested before they're pushed out. Even the new versions sometimes are a bit buggy before it's all correct."

What is our primary use case?

FortiManager is a virtual appliance, you can have it in a cloud, buy your own license, or pay for the solution as a service. It's very helpful because you can manage many products from other customers, just from the cloud, which is where you administrate domains for all the customers you might have. You only have one point of deployment of the new FortiGates, for example, FortiSwitches, FortiAPs with a single click that you do not need to deploy the configuration on a unit itself. So it means, for example, you can just send the new boxes to new offices and from the cloud FortiManager, you just let some technical guy send it to the internet. It gets the serial number of the FortiManager. It can be paired and the configuration can be directly downloaded. You don't even need to touch the box physically. So that's an amazing feature. 

What is most valuable?

For the whole security fabric from Fortinet, with a simple click you can see if some workstations or services are affected by an attack. You can really easily quarantine it, check the solution, and fix it. It's very good from a security perspective. 

What needs improvement?

Fortinet is releasing quite a lot of new versions and I would say that most of the versions are not well tested before they're pushed out. Even the new versions sometimes are a bit buggy before it's all correct.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using FortiManager for six to seven years. 

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

We don't have any issues with stability. 

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Scalability is good. 

How are customer service and technical support?

Our support was often sent to a foreign country and they didn't speak good English. But the second level of support was all perfect.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

Checkpoint has a kind of manager that is similar. I think Palo Alto and Cisco have something similar as well.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup was straightforward and so simple. You don't need to know the functionality that much and it guides you on how to deploy it correctly. It's quite simple to set up as a solution.

The deployment takes a few days. 

What other advice do I have?

I would rate it a nine out of ten. 

It does not make much sense if you only have one FortiGate. If you have multiple devices and you can share some kind of templates or configuration template for security rules then this is a product you should use.

In the next release, there should be a little bit better of a deployment for applications that should also be relevant for mobile phones.

Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Distributor.
Buyer's Guide
Fortinet FortiManager
June 2022
Learn what your peers think about Fortinet FortiManager. Get advice and tips from experienced pros sharing their opinions. Updated: June 2022.
609,272 professionals have used our research since 2012.
Asst. Network Security Engineer at a tech services company with 11-50 employees
Reseller
Reasonably priced, and the centralized management helps to consolidate network security operations
Pros and Cons
  • "Fortinet has the option of synchronization in the cloud, so you can manage everything if you have a cloud account."
  • "The response times from technical support need to be a bit quicker."

What is our primary use case?

We are a solution provider, reseller, and distributor. Fortinet FortiManager is one of the security products that we implement for our customers.

How has it helped my organization?

FortiManager is a benefit to our clients who have several Fortinet products in their ecosystem. For example, they may have different products such as FortiGate firewall, FortiAnalyzer, and FortiSandbox, and they can orchestrate them from FortiManager.

It also allows for multitenancy, where we can manage the security solutions of several different customers.

What is most valuable?

Fortinet has the option of synchronization in the cloud, so you can manage everything if you have a cloud account.

FortiManager supports orchestration in distributed environments and provides features such as automation and profiling. It allows you to push the configuration for new deployments, which makes the setup of new systems easier.

It fits well into either NOC or SOC environments to assist with managing the overall security solution.

What needs improvement?

The GUI and the whole process of configuration should be improved.

The response times from technical support need to be a bit quicker.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been working with FortiManager for about two years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

This is a stable solution.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

It is scalable, although if you are managing hardware appliances then there are some limitations. If you are using the VM then you can just upgrade your license and add resources.

How are customer service and technical support?

The technical support wait times are long and this is an area that should be improved. Raising a ticket through the portal will sometimes take more than 24 or 48 hours. The response time definitely needs to be a bit quicker.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

I work with a variety of security vendors and have a lot of experience with Fortinet products. I also work with solutions from McAfee and Palo Alto.

I have also worked with the Cisco DNA Center and they have some futuristic options in the interface.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup is not complex and it will take only one or two hours to get the appliance online. After this, it will take time to populate the configuration with all of your assets. There is a lot of planning involved in this stage.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

In comparison with other products, the price of FortiManager is reasonable.

What other advice do I have?

In terms of deployment options, it has a lot of options for enterprise-level organizations such as telcos and banks. Overall, I think that this product is okay.

I would rate this solution an eight out of ten.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

On-premises
Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Reseller.
Rias Majeed - PeerSpot reviewer
CTO IT Security - Connectivity at Exceed NetSec
Real User
Improves and increases the performance but performance issues should be improved
Pros and Cons
  • "We look at the traffic to segment the network and it improves and increases the performance. When we have a mobile connection and local laptops are on the same network. We have seen a big performance upgrade."
  • "Performance issues should be improved. We have problems when we have more mobile connections than local devices. Most of us have two to three devices."

What is our primary use case?

Our primary use case is to analyze the internal traffic to see what's happening in the network. We can analyze the logs and push policies. In case something happens, after rebooting it, we can push the configuration back into the appliance. 

What is most valuable?

The most valuable feature is analyzing the traffic. When we call ISP and we do an upgrade, the performance is down and we can look into it and see where we're lacking and analyze the data and decide how to go about it - if it is from the firewall or the connection. 

We look at the traffic to segment the network and it improves and increases the performance. When we have a mobile connection and local laptops are on the same network. We have seen a big performance upgrade.  

What needs improvement?

Performance issues should be improved. We have problems when we have more mobile connections than local devices. Most of us have two to three devices. 

Finetuning and performance tuning need improvement.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been working with FortiManager for around fifteen years. 

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The stability is very good. Throughout my career, my failure rates have been low. Some models have bugs on the flash drive. But it's usually from carelessness from the client's side. It's very stable.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

If you go above your box, you have to update it. It's not so scalable. But most firewalls are like this. Throughput makes a difference. We have to upgrade boxes every three to four years. 

How are customer service and technical support?

Their support is good. They respond well. Their response time is good and they can usually resolve the problem. 

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup is not very complex. I've been in this field for a long so I don't find it very complex. 

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

The pricing is reasonable. It's not very expensive, it is reasonably priced. 

What other advice do I have?

I would rate it a seven out of ten. 

In the next release, I would like to see more performance-tuning. If they could work on that, that would be great. 

Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: partner
Owner at EASI Network
Real User
Integrates easily with other Fortinet products and is very stable
Pros and Cons
  • "A fully integrated solution."
  • "Can be difficult to configure."

What is our primary use case?

We work with the FortiManager tool to configure several solutions for our customers. Generally, our customers already have the product installed on their network. We work as independent consultants. 

What needs improvement?

The product could be improved by making it a little easier to configure. Sometimes it's a  bit complicated to find the right way to configure. For example, if you want to have a link between a FortiGate to a FortiSwitch, sometimes it's not so clear. Sometimes there is a problem because U.S. FortiGate has one version and FortiSwitch has another version of the operating system and it's difficult to create, to have a link between two devices, and we have to do an upgrade before using it.

I would like the configuration to be easier. If that is solved then the product is perfect. 

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It's a stable product. 

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

I have no experience with scalability. 

How are customer service and technical support?

The technical support for us is great. We get our support from Fortinet in Belgium, so we can communicate directly with a technician in Belgium. It's perfect. 

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

We also train in Cisco and are certified and support Cisco, so we know that solution very well. The difference between the two is that Cisco is always more complicated than Fortinet. 

How was the initial setup?

I think the initial setup is too complicated because there are several versions of the operating systems, so you don't have directly connections between two devices. In the study guide it's easier but on site it's not so easy. 

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

I think the pricing is reasonable, it's cheaper than Cisco. 

What other advice do I have?

It's a good solution if the customer has all Fortinet products. The advantage of Fortinet is that if you have all their products - FortiGate or FortiSwitch or FortiController, FortiWeb, FortiClient, it's an integrated solution but if you have only Fortinet Switch, it's no more interesting than Cisco.

I would rate this product an eight out of 10. 

Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: consultant
Mak Kazemaini - PeerSpot reviewer
Infrastructure and Cloud Architect at Vizion network
Real User
Easy to use, reliable centralized management, with good technical support
Pros and Cons
  • "The most valuable features are the centralized management of the firewalls."
  • "It's a difficult process to transfer one interface from one virtual domain to another."

What is our primary use case?

The primary use case of this solution is the management of firewalls.

What is most valuable?

The most valuable features are the centralized management of the firewalls. By unifying the deployment process of the policies among many of the firewalls, or virtual domains that you have, and it is very easy to install and use.

What needs improvement?

The user interface itself has areas that need improvement.

It would be very useful if they come up with a feature or a process that makes the transition of the interfaces between virtual domains easier. It's a difficult process to transfer one interface from one virtual domain to another.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been working with Fortinet FortiManager for a few years.

We are using the latest version.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It's a very good solution. It's a stable and reliable product.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

It's a very scalable solution. It has been designed for a large environment. 

The concept of using a FortiManager is when you have a scalable modular infrastructure and several firewalls or Fortinet devices that you want to manage in a centralized environment.

We have three people using this solution and they are infrastructure engineers.

In our type of business, there is no plan or place for more expansion or improvement as we have a certain set of business services. The firewall is protecting our network and Fortinet devices are very limited in our company.

In our business, we cannot see a future for improving or expanding the use of FortiManager for some time.

How are customer service and technical support?

The Fortinet technical support is very good. It's a good team.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

Previously, we did not use a different solution.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup is easy and took less than an hour to deploy.

What about the implementation team?

I did not use a vendor. I did it myself.

What was our ROI?

We are not yet at a point where we can see a return of investment. It's going to take some time for our new project, which is still in the deployment process, to start paying back the investment.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

The licensing costs depend on how many devices you want to use. It's based on the licensing model and the number of devices you add to the system.

The more devices you add to FortiManager, the more you need to pay.

I am not aware of any additional costs.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We did not evaluate other options as we already had FortiGate devices. FortiManager was the only option.

What other advice do I have?

You have to plan everything with very specific details before deploying the FortiManager, otherwise, it will be complex.

I would rate this solution an eight out of ten.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

On-premises
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
Manager IP Network Security Planning at a comms service provider with 10,001+ employees
Real User
Easy to setup, learn, and use

What is most valuable?

The user interface is very easy to navigate. It is comfortable to use.

What needs improvement?

Regional support in African countries needs to be improved.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using FortiManager for less than a year.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

So far, FortiManager has been really stable.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

We have not pushed our usage to the point where we have had to scale, yet.

How are customer service and technical support?

The platform does not have proper support for Africans.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup is straightforward and not as cumbersome as some other products.

Our deployment took a month or two because of the change management. 

What other advice do I have?

My advice to anybody who is researching this product is that it is quite easy to use and the learning curve is not steep.

I would rate this solution an eight out of ten.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

On-premises
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
Mohamed Talbi - PeerSpot reviewer
Network and Security Engineer at a tech consulting company with 1,001-5,000 employees
Real User
Powerful management for deploying configuration to multiple environments with a single click
Pros and Cons
  • "It would normally take us a handful of days to install one FortiGate instance on one site. But with this technology, zero-touch deployment, we need just one hour or maybe as little as 30 minutes to install one site. It is much more efficient."
  • "Troubleshooting for Fortinet products is more difficult than competing products like Cisco and Palo Alto."

What is our primary use case?

We use it on a virtual machine in our data center. We are not using a box.  

We have many types of clients so there are many types of use cases for our clients who we are deploying FortiGate for on-site to create the local network. Many sites are using FortiGate firewalls like 60E, 100E, 200E and 500E and some 3100D.  

We are using what we call zero-touch deployment. It is a very important technology or process that helps us to make the deployments efficiently. It is called zero-touch deployment or ZTD. It helps us to implement our configuration on these client sites by using FortiManager. Zero-touch deployment is the central piece here and it is made possible by the use of FortiManager. What happens is we prepare our configuration in the FortiManager. After that, the technicians who are doing the installation just need to connect the instance of FortiGate to the internet. They only have to do that and FortiGate automatically downloads the configuration from FortiManager. So this is the way we can optimize the implementation and reduce the duration of the setup time involved.  

It would normally take us a handful of days to install one FortiGate instance on one site. But with this technology, zero-touch deployment, we need just one hour or maybe as little as 30 minutes to install one site. It is much more efficient. We reduce the time further by installing the configuration in all the FortiGate instances that we are managing at the same time. For example, say we need to install a new policy to deny or to allow something to connect to the internet. We can create this configuration in the FortiManager and we can push it out to 100 or 200 FortiGate instances at the same time. So it helps us to reduce the time it takes to install and to perform maintenance as well as to minimize the errors. We are human so errors are more frequent than a deployment managed by a machine. With this process, if anything is wrong it is also easier to correct.  

What is most valuable?

The most valuable feature in FortiManager is the ability to automate the deployment processes and maintenance.  

What needs improvement?

Not just in FortiManager, but in any Fortinet project in general, the troubleshooting is very hard. If you compare it with other products from other vendors like Cisco or like Palo Alto, it is just more difficult. Say we are in a situation where we need to do some debugging. It is very hard to understand and to use the CMD and the CLI commands because there is not very much documentation. There is no description when you are using the CLI and there are no examples to follow. So it is hard to do some troubleshooting to find a problem. There is FortiAnalyzer that can help with this but it is not real-time. It is too hard to view real-time inbound and outbound traffic. Because we are network engineers and network administrators, we always need to have some time real-time traffic to view what is happening now, as it happens, to know what is really going on.  

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using Fortinet FortiManager for about two years.  

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

I would say that the product is not stable all the time. Sometimes, I need to reboot the virtual machine after we do some configuration. The configuration changes will only take place after a reboot. It is something that should not normally happen this way. We should not have to reboot it, but sometimes it happens that we are forced to.  

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

I think the product is very scalable. We can add a new instance of FortiGate with a simple click. We can configure it with high availability using two VMs active-backup. It is a very good product from the scalability point of view.  

There are now more than five people who are currently using FortiManager in our company and we are counting on more as we grow. We are a growing company of integrators. We have been on a mission for three years in our region to service our clients — all of them have more than 500 employees. We also have built up to more than 5000 employees total. These same five people using FortiManager are also what we need for the maintenance of the systems.  

How are customer service and technical support?

The technical support is very good when I work with them. In reality, I give them seven or eight-out-of-ten. This is because sometimes you have a very good engineer; sometimes you do not get a very good engineer. This is the reason for the lower score. Last time we created a ticket, it took two months to resolve the problem. For the first month, I was working with someone who did not have a very good understanding and methods for resolving the problem. But, after that, I was allowed to work with another engineer who was very good. He was very good both technically and his methods.  

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

I work mostly with Fortinet now. I work with FortiGuard and FortiGate firewalls. I work with FortiExtender to connect with the 4G network. I work with FortiAnalyzer and FortiManager to manage the FortiGate firewalls. I use FortiManager with the network administrator on top to manage many firewalls at the same time. I can use FortiAnalyzer to analyze our network, to give us a lot of information about the stability of the network. And also to get reports like what are the top 10 hosts who are using the network.  

Before using FortiManager, generally, I worked with other vendors like Cisco, with FireSIGHT to manage the Firepower firewalls from Cisco installations. It was essentially the equivalent to FortiManager. It managed Firepower firewalls. I worked with around 700 Firepower firewalls and one other FireSIGHT appliance which was not VMware. But I found that Cisco was a little bit hard to manage. It is not very stable and we had some problems with it. We opened a ticket and I could see now that we did not get a good solution from the technical support. We just made a workaround which is not a good way to resolve issues. But in general, FortiManager is better than the FireSIGHT as a technology and as a solution.  

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup is simple. It is not complex at all. We are using Fortinet FortiManager in our main data center and it publishes via virtual IT, or VIT, to our facility to connect to us from our spoke site. It is very simple, I think.  

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

Generally, what I know about the pricing is that Fortinet FortiManager is not expensive at all if you compare it with other vendors like Check Point and like Cisco. Fortinet products are the least expensive on the market in the category of firewalls.  

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

Really, it is not me who chose this solution. It was the staff before I come here. I do know the staff chose it as one of many potential options to be presented to the clients.  

I personally have a specialty using Fortinet but also SolarWinds — although not so much. But I am quite a bit more familiar in working with Cisco and Fortinet.

What other advice do I have?

My advice to other people considering this solution is that they have to read about the product and they have to make an effort to pass the NSE 5 (Network Security Analyst) certification. It is for FortiAnalyzer and FortiManager products. Fortinet NSE 4 (Network Security Professional) certification talks about FortiGate and prepares your solution in a global sense. It is also very good to have. The main certification to have in my opinion is to pass the NSE 7 (Network Security Architect) certification because it talks about what I think is the negative part of Fortinet products, the troubleshooting. So my advice is that it is very important to pass the minimum of these three certifications to manage the solution with some level of expertise.  

On a scale from one to ten where one is the worst and ten is the best, I would rate FortiManager as an eight. Additional features I would like to see included in the next release of FortiManager to make it a nine or a ten is to be compatible with the management of other products like not just FortiGate. For example, it might work with FortiExtender.  

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
Consultant at a wellness & fitness company with 1,001-5,000 employees
Consultant
Enables our clients to monitor multiple firewalls in one place
Pros and Cons
  • "The product is a combination of management and monitoring from the same interface."
  • "The areas that need improvement are implemenation and support. In terms of implementation, it mainly needs clear documentation."

How has it helped my organization?

One site we worked on had something like 10 firewalls in different branches, and the security admin there needed to monitor the firewalls from a centralized place, so we deployed FortiManager and configured it so he could monitor things from one place. 

At another site, we use it in backup mode for automatic backup.

What is most valuable?

The product is a combination of management and monitoring from the same interface.

What needs improvement?

The areas that need improvement are implementation and support. In terms of implementation, it mainly needs clear documentation. There are many features that are not mentioned in the documentation.

For how long have I used the solution?

We've been using FortiManager for almost one year. On some sites we use the latest version, and for other sites we use version 6.4.

We have done implementations of a number of Fortinet products such as Email and FortiWeb firewalls. We have implemented the portfolio of Fortinet products.

How are customer service and technical support?

For FortiManager, technical support is good, but it's not excellent. It's not perfect because there are times when it takes longer for them to reply to cases. And, as I mentioned, sometimes we can't find a feature in the documentation.

How was the initial setup?

It's easy to install and it takes about two days.

What other advice do I have?

I recommend FortiManager if you have more than FortiGate firewalls or more Fortinet products.

In terms of users of the solution, our clients are between medium and enterprise in scope.

Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Partner/consultant.
Buyer's Guide
Download our free Fortinet FortiManager Report and get advice and tips from experienced pros sharing their opinions.
Updated: June 2022
Buyer's Guide
Download our free Fortinet FortiManager Report and get advice and tips from experienced pros sharing their opinions.