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Fortinet FortiSwitch - Secure Access OverviewUNIXBusinessApplication

Fortinet FortiSwitch - Secure Access is #8 ranked solution in top Ethernet Switches. PeerSpot users give Fortinet FortiSwitch - Secure Access an average rating of 8.4 out of 10. Fortinet FortiSwitch - Secure Access is most commonly compared to Cisco Ethernet Switches: Fortinet FortiSwitch - Secure Access vs Cisco Ethernet Switches. Fortinet FortiSwitch - Secure Access is popular among the large enterprise segment, accounting for 46% of users researching this solution on PeerSpot. The top industry researching this solution are professionals from a comms service provider, accounting for 27% of all views.
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Download the Ethernet Switches Buyer's Guide including reviews and more. Updated: July 2022

What is Fortinet FortiSwitch - Secure Access?

Fortinet FortiSwitch Secure Access is a secure, high-performance, and easy-to-manage switch. Fortinet FortiSwitch is the best solution for threat-conscious enterprises of all sizes because it is secure, simple, and scalable. Secure Access, which is tightly integrated into the Fortinet Security Fabric via FortiLink, may be handled directly from the FortiGate interface.

Regardless of how people and devices connect to the network, this single-pane-of-glass administration provides total visibility and control. This makes the Fortinet FortiSwitch perfect for SD-Branch and campus deployments, allowing enterprises to combine their security and network access with applications ranging from desktop to data center aggregation. Fortinet FortiSwitch's Secure Access is the most adaptable security platform with end-to-end protection in the industry.

Switches for Secure Access: Small to medium-sized businesses, scattered organizations, branch offices, and industrial control systems can all benefit.

Switches for Data Centers: Ideal for users requiring high-performance 10 GE or 40 GE.

Fortinet FortiSwitch Secure Access Features

Fortinet FortiSwitch has many valuable key features. Some of the most useful ones include:

  • Fortinet FortiSwitch Secure Access is designed for various installations, including desktops and wiring closets.
  • Deploy and manage switches using the FortiGate interface, with FortiGate Cloud as a cloud administration option, or manage as a standalone switch using CLI, API, GUI, or the cloud with FortiSwitch Cloud.
  • Switch configuration, management, and troubleshooting are all simplified with a single-pane-of-glass dashboard.
  • Fortinet FortiSwitch Secure Access is ideal for SD-Branch deployments.
  • Secure Access uses FortiGate interfaces to connect with FortiLink. This provides centralized security and access control.
  • Integration of the Security Fabric: Fortinet FortiSwitch's FortiGate management brings Security Fabric features to the Ethernet access layer.
  • Voice, data, and wireless traffic can all be carried over a single network, making it ideal for converged network environments.
  • Non-FortiLink deployments can be supported via the onboard GUI, API, or command line settings.
  • Up to 48 ports in a compact and 1 RU form factor.
  • Depending on the model, up to 300 switches can be stacked per FortiGate.
  • Supports wire-speed switching, as well as store and forward mode.

Fortinet FortiSwitch Secure Access Benefits

There are many benefits to implementing Fortinet FortiSwitch. Some of the biggest advantages the solution offers include:

  • You can easily manage all deployments in one interface if your company scales and opens a new office or location.
  • You can ensure that users are authenticated before giving network access.
  • Power over Ethernet makes it simple to set up wireless access points and IP phones.
  • With network segmentation, you can help satisfy data separation compliance.

Reviews from Real Users

Fortinet FortiSwitch stands out among its competitors for a number of reasons. Two major ones are its stability and its VLAN setup. PeerSpot users take note of the advantages of these features in their reviews:

Rutul S., CXO at Aariha Enterprise Private Limited, writes of the product, “The most valuable feature is the SD-WAN support. This device is easy to use.” He adds, “Stability-wise, this product is better than others that are on the market.”

Emil V., System Consultant at I team, notes, “I like the VLAN setup of Fortinet FortiSwitch - Secure Access. Fortinet FortiSwitch - Secure Access has very good scalability.” He adds, “Fortinet FortiSwitch - Secure Access is easy to set up. It only takes minutes to deploy this product, because it is mostly boxes.”

Fortinet FortiSwitch - Secure Access Customers

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

Fortinet FortiSwitch - Secure Access Video

Archived Fortinet FortiSwitch - Secure Access Reviews (more than two years old)

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Mohamed Rashwan - PeerSpot reviewer
CEO at C-Selection Technologies
Real User
Excellent for managing wireless users, network users and security status of all devices
Pros and Cons
  • "Ability to manage FortiAP, FortiClient, and FortiGate all from a single console"
  • "Currently issues with some of the switches and problems with the firmware."

What is our primary use case?

We have different use cases in different sectors including in education, banking, health care.  You can say it's suitable for all types of businesses like small and medium enterprise. We use this product inside security fabric solutions. We assign switches and then integrate it with FortiGate. We implement this solution for our clients. We are a partner of Fortinet and I'm the CEO of our company.  

What is most valuable?

The security fabric is easy and the ability to manage FortiAP, FortiClient, and FortiGate all from a single console is great. Configuration and installation are quite simple. You can manage the wireless users, and the network users, the security status of all your devices including the laptops, and PC and mobile devices. I think this is one of the top features of Fortinet.

What needs improvement?

There are currently issues with some of the switches, problems with the firmware. I think they need to check the firmware, especially, with the new FortiGate firmware integration and they need to offer a strong switching feature like Cisco, especially in the VLAN management systems and integration.

For how long have I used the solution?

I've been using this solution for almost three years. 

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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?

With my experience I think the scalability is pretty good for medium size businesses. 

How are customer service and support?

I think the technical support is quite good although we don't have much contact with them.

How was the initial setup?

Initial setup is relatively simple and quite easy for any person who has good experience with Fortinet products. Deployment takes 10 - 15 minutes max and for small or medium projects it takes one or two people. Maintenance is usually carried out by one person. 


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

The licensing costs are on an annual basis and cover warranty and support. There are no additional costs.

What other advice do I have?

If you want to run full integration with the secure network architecture from a single point, you can use Fortinet. It's suitable for small and medium size business. You can run all your products like the wireless access points, and switches, and FortiGate and firewall from the single vendor. It will give you the security fabric features to take you to a high level of reporting and management skill.

It's important to keep up with the technical news. They have released multiple versions of the firmware with new updates and it's important to follow the new version of firmware update for Fortinet. I think there are some features where Cisco is better than Fortinet. The decision to purchase one product over another depends on your needs, your budget, and your skill.

I would rate this solution a nine out of 10. 

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
PeerSpot user
Technical Support Engineer at Point PC
Real User
Simple to use and has easy to use switches
Pros and Cons
  • "The most valuable feature of this product is its simplicity."
  • "The product could use more security related features."

What is our primary use case?

I'm a technical support engineer and we are a partner, buying and reselling the solution here in Israel. Our primary use case is core switches, The switches are on the customer's data. We use the product as an extension for core security reasons. Around 50% of our customers buy this product from us. It's a central product we sell for extended features of 4G switches.

What is most valuable?

The most valuable feature of this product is its simplicity. The one portal that we are using in FortiGate from Dell is the point for managing everything. The other good features are security-related, it's very easy to use those switches.

What needs improvement?

The product could be improved with additional security-related features, you can never have enough. Otherwise, I find it quite an easy product to use. Scalability could also be improved. 

For additional features, I would again mention the security and it would be nice if the 4G system was directly on the operating system.

For how long have I used the solution?

I've been using the product for four years. 

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

For now, the stability is okay. 

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

There aren't special features that resolve any scalable requirements. There are scalable possibilities with other features of the 4G Gates unit but this is not so scalable.

How are customer service and technical support?

I can't really answer this question because we've never had to use technical support. 

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

We used to use HP only and we still sell that. We now sell 50% FortiSwitch and 50% of our customers are staying with the HP switches.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup is very straightforward, it takes a few seconds. 

What about the implementation team?

We do the deployment ourselves. 

What other advice do I have?

I think this is a great product and everyone who chooses it will enjoy using it. 

I would rate this product a nine out of 10. 

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
PeerSpot user
Buyer's Guide
Ethernet Switches
July 2022
Find out what your peers are saying about Fortinet, Cisco, Aruba Networks and others in Ethernet Switches. Updated: July 2022.
622,645 professionals have used our research since 2012.
Network Security Engineer at a tech services company with 11-50 employees
Real User
Good usability and GUI. However, the technical support needs to improve its troubleshooting assistance.
Pros and Cons
  • "What I really love in FortiSwitch: its usability, the graphical user interface, and the ability to be managed by FortiGate."
  • "If you contact Fortinet, it's a bit difficult. Most of the time, they send you just links and documents to read for troubleshooting. When you contact support, you don't need documents. You want someone that can understand your problem, give a hand, and help you. I'm not impressed by the support really."

What is our primary use case?

The customer wanted to have a switch, but then we managed to buy a console: FortiGate. This has been deployed to control the switching. This switch has 40 access points for WiFi access. This has been deployed to the university for student access. We have the controller using FortiGate with the access point being FortiGate. So, we chose FortiSwitch to uniformize our entire equipment and the WiFi for students access.

The version depends on the version of FortiOS which is running on the switch.

What is most valuable?

The interface is great because we can do all the administrative tasks with a user vertical interface. FortiSwitch can be managed by the FortiGate, so a lot of tasks are doable using FortiGate. If you master FortiGate, you won't have a lot of difficulty mastering FortiSwitch. What I really love in FortiSwitch: its usability, the graphical user interface, and the ability to be managed by FortiGate.

What needs improvement?

The technical support could be improved.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using this solution for two years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It's stable. The installation was deployed two years ago. We haven't had any big problems with it. If there are problems, they are related to the configuration, passwords changes, and sometimes the access point loses connection. 

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

FortiSwitch can be managed and controlled by FortiGate. The configuration is done on FortiGate. To scale, you just need to purchase some other switches, even they are not really the same model of the one deployed. With two or three clicks, we can scale them to the other switch.

With the university example, where it is not fully functional, there are almost 2000 or 3000 students who are using the access points to access the WiFi, which are connected to the switch. 

How are customer service and technical support?

I am almost an expert on the solution, so I don't often need support. But, if you contact Fortinet, it's a bit difficult. Most of the time, they send you just links and documents to read for troubleshooting. When you contact support, you don't need documents. You want someone that can understand your problem, give a hand, and help you. I'm not impressed by the support really.

How was the initial setup?

Initial setup is like plug and play. It's really simple.

I can deploy a FortiSwitch in a maximum of one hour.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

Maybe Fortinet can improve FortiSwitch's functionalities, because they are not the best on the market. Cisco switches offer more functionalities regarding access control and other features, like WLAN security. They can improve these on FortiSwitch.

It's affordable compared to other switching products, like Cisco switches. 

What other advice do I have?

I can recommend the solution.

I would rate the solution as a seven (out of 10).

FortiSwitch is a member of what Fortinet calls its security fabric. 

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.
PeerSpot user
BrianAmenya - PeerSpot reviewer
Systems Engineer at a tech services company with 51-200 employees
Real User
Easy to use, good network visibility, and is able to isolate compromising devices, but the network management needs improvement
Pros and Cons
  • "The most valuable feature is that I can completely isolate devices that are compromising the network."
  • "I don't like the way it's managed."

What is our primary use case?

We use this solution for access-level connectivity for phones and computers. Using it as an access point to connect to the switches directly for their POE.

What is most valuable?

The most valuable feature is that I can completely isolate devices that are compromising the network. 

I get all of my analytics from the FortiGate point of view. I have FortiGate, FortiAnalyzer, and FortiManager for all of my analytics. The analytics are collected from the switch and everything that is connected to the switch. I get a physical view of every single device that is connected to every point in my network.

I love the view, because I know which computer is connecting to what access point, as well as which computer or node is connecting to what switch and to what port. 

What needs improvement?

I don't like the way it's managed. For some of the smaller switches that we have, I was not able to log into it and manage it. I am not sure if it is something that I am missing or something that I am not doing correctly or if this applies to all switches. 

It had to be managed through the FortiGate firewall appliance, which to me is one of the downsides.

I am not sure if they have management outside of FortiGate itself.

The switches should have the capability to be managed without having to connect to FortiGate. You might have clients who are using Cisco or other solutions who would have to use FortiGate at the access level but won't be able to log in into the switch, then it would be completely useless to them and it becomes unmanaged.

There is no console port and nothing in the default IP that could help with this issue. I checked online and there was nothing available.

The dashboards are easy but a bit cloggy. The more switches that you connect the more cloggy it becomes.

For how long have I used the solution?

We started using this solution three months ago.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

This solution is stable. I love it!

I don't have to do anything. I can just see it from the FortiView, and I can point it out.

I never have issues. I don't even need to do many analytical watches, it makes life very easy.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

This solution is scalable. We are a small site running only three switches, but from what I have heard, it's pretty easy to scale because of the looping feature. It uplinks and can automatically be used from your management console. I haven't done a big system, so I don't know what that would be like.

My entire company is running on Fortinet, and we have two people managing the entire environment for over forty users.

How are customer service and technical support?

Fortinet support is fantastic, except for the morning hours. Morning hours, my time, they are very slow. I am GMT+3. Anything after three in the afternoon is very fast.

The support is generally fantastic. You can call them or write to them and they always give you a solution.

The KB online is on point.

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

Previously we were with Cisco, but we were already using FortiMail and received the distribution for Fortinet. We purchase Fortinet firewalls.

The firewall and the mail were already working for us, so we thought that would just do everything with Fortinet. Then we can use our company to demonstrate what Fortinet has to offer.

We have multifactor authentication running on Fortinet, FortiAnalyer, and FortiManager.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup was straightforward, it was pretty easy. Anyone can do it.

It took fifteen minutes to deploy.

What about the implementation team?

I implemented this solution and did not use an integrator or a vendor.

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

It's affordable and there are no additional costs, just regular support, and license fees.

What other advice do I have?

I am working on a roadmap to ensure that everything is running on a Secure Access and not just from the switches. I am currently working on introducing SSO and Active Directory. It's going to be extensive, where everything will be running on a secure level. 

This solution is affordable, it makes sense, and it's easy to manage so it saves you time in both practice and in technical training. You don't have to train anyone to work with Secure Access. If you are going to invest in training, just invest in the training for FortiGate. After that, your environment is good to go because everything else is self-explanatory and easy on the interface for the Secure Access and all of Fortinet solutions.

It makes economic and security sense for any organization that is intending to deploy this kind of solution. I wish that it had come sooner.

There are several switches that I have looked at, and when I am looking at the capabilities of other switches there is still much to be discovered on Fortinet. They don't have all of the capabilities, especially when it comes to the throughput.

I would rate this solution a six 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.
PeerSpot user
Yousef Altaj - PeerSpot reviewer
Tech Manager at Global tec
Reseller
Visual scope is very good and allows me to see and download all of the network information

What is our primary use case?

We primarily use the solution for different reasons. It depends on our customer security requirements and the projects that we are implementing for banks, hospitals, etc. 

What is most valuable?

The visual scope of the solution is very good. It allows me to see and download all of the network information.

What needs improvement?

In terms of improvements, the solution has SD-WAN but it doesn't have SDN. This should be added.

The solution can only be managed by FortiGate.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The stability of the solution is good.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

The solution can scale, but there are some limitations. Our partner just started using the solution so I'm not sure how many people they have on it at this time.

How are customer service and technical support?

Technical support is good.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup is straightforward; it's not complex.

What about the implementation team?

I handled the implementation myself.

What other advice do I have?

I've been using the solution for five years. We use both cloud and on-premises deployment models.

The solution is secure for small and medium-sized companies. For larger companies, you need to have an LPM on it. 

I'd rate it eight out of ten.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
PeerSpot user
Mohamed Rashwan - PeerSpot reviewer
CEO at C-Selection Technologies
Real User
Offers excellent reporting and monitoring of the endpoints and has good integration with FortiGate
Pros and Cons
  • "One of the most feature-packed switching solutions you can implement."
  • "Technical support needs to take a different approach and pricing should appear more competitive."

What is our primary use case?

Our general focus as a company and partner with Fortinet is to act as one of the Security Fabric solution providers. We are trying to deliver the whole solution of the Fortinet Security Fabric to our customers. The Secure Access component is a part of that solution. 

How has it helped my organization?

It gives us the option to offer different solutions to our clients that fit their needs and budget.

What is most valuable?

The integration between the FortiGate and FortiSwitch — the reporting and monitoring — is perfect. The reporting and monitoring of the endpoints could not be better. So, for me, this is the best feature of FortiSwitch. 

What needs improvement?

I think that Fortinet needs to focus on its pricing and improving the packages offered to users. When our company offers a client the FortiSwitches product, the customer ends up comparing FortiSwitch's pricing directly with HP and Cisco. Both of these other products cost less but they have fewer features. Fortinet needs to bring the price down to levels that are more competitive at-a-glance with these other products. If they do that, they will take more of the market because they have more features and clients will compare by features rather than by price. It is actually justified as it stands to charge more, but customers often only see the price tag.

Another thing that could be improved, although it is not actually part of the product itself, is the technical support. The technical support team is slow to respond and the responses are not always complete.

For how long have I used the solution?

We have been using this solution for just over one year.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

Based on my experience with the product, I think it is very stable. Up until now, I have never seen a problem with stability.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

We have clients who use the same product with a different number of users — between 20 to 100 users. I do not see any problem with performance or scalability in different implementations or different network architectures.

How are customer service and technical support?

My customers may contact technical support directly at times. Usually, we will not need to. When we do have contact with them it is not very good, and we hear the same thing from our customers. They need to improve the technical support service. Right now, they take a lot of time to reply to tickets. Then, when they respond, they are not as helpful as they could be. They need to adopt a different approach to their method of responding to customers.

How was the initial setup?

Installation is very easy, especially now that Fortinet has made a lot of videos available to understand the configuration. We have done this many times as resellers, so it is easy for us. If a person has no experience at all, he or she might be able to do it themselves, or they may need someone to help them. It depends on the person's level of experience with similar products. If he has any experience with other products, he or she will probably be able to do it without any help.

What about the implementation team?

We are official partners with Fortinet so we do installations for ourselves and other companies as well.

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

The product is one of the most expensive that customers can consider, but the pricing is justified by the functionality. It would probably be best if they reconsidered pricing so more people will use it and they will understand the value.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

As a reseller, we have evaluated many options and we use whichever one seems to be the best fit for the client.

What other advice do I have?

On a scale from one to ten where one is the worst and ten is the best, I would rate this product as an eight. Nothing is perfect. The technical support is a bit of an issue.

Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Partner.
PeerSpot user
Erik Jansson - PeerSpot reviewer
Erik JanssonTechnology Manager at Klinic Community Health
Real User

Our experience with Fortinet tech support has been very good overall. I have found response times slow on occasion but we are on 8x5 service package and all the tickets were coded as a priority 3 or 4 with 2 and 1 being the most critical. We had no delays when we indicated the issue was a high priority when we had issues with a VPN tunnel to a cisco system that was mission-critical. They were able to find and fix the issue even when the techs at the other side could not. I have had some techs that were hard to understand, but they just remoted in and I watched them do all the work.

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