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User at Sapra
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How is FortiGate-VM different from the physical FortiGate firewall?

What is the difference between FortiGate-VM and the physical (hardware) FortiGate firewall?

PeerSpot user
4 Answers
CISO at a religious institution with 501-1,000 employees
Real User
Top 5
14 June 21

Purpose-built appliances offer tested performance measures and provide proven results for the specified traffic and service configuration.  

VM can only provide vCPUs, RAM, and hard disk resources.  However, in some cloud environments, you only have the VM option, no appliances accepted.  

We have several Fortigate VM firewalls operating for 3 years now in the cloud and appliances in our centers that handle the traffic just fine. We have not had to increase the resources above the recommendations and they work just fine.

ABHILASH TH - PeerSpot reviewer
Managing Director at FOX DATA
Top 5Leaderboard
13 June 21

FortiGate VM 

  • FortiGate-VM delivers the same FortiOS and FortiGuard real-time threat intelligence as the hardware models, in a virtual form factor.

  • FortiGate-VM offers flexible licensing and provisioning for virtual network deployments.

  • Support for multiple virtualizations and cloud platforms.

  • Full support for Forti Hypervisor deployments enabling line-speed security in vCPE requirement.

  • The architecture of a VM is a little more complex than that of Hardware.

  • Virtual machines are less efficient than real machines because they access the hardware indirectly.

FortiGate Hardware

  • The hardware firewall is an ASIC-based device.

  • It has hardware limitation, for example, Memory, CPU, etc

  • Easy deployment in the network

  • No complexity

William Yragui - PeerSpot reviewer
President at infobond
11 June 21

Fortigate appliance is purpose built with NPU and SPUs designed to increase throughput while maximizing the ability to decrypt packets in search of malware. 

VM deployments are software only and do not include the NPU and SPUs. 

Richard Benfatto - PeerSpot reviewer
Networking Security Expert at SR Technologies
Top 5
14 June 21

The root of all is VM. A virtual environment is software running on someone else machine/s. Welcome to the the cloud. Sadly, no one stops to think but with the excuse of "lower costs" many fall for it. Performance is the key word. Avoid VMware and the likes. What appears cheap may have a big price in the end. There is no way performance on your own physical machine will be close to the cloud, and there are heaps more things in the equation. Fortinet appliances have their own semiconductors chips to handle in hardware traffic and other duties. Harry Potter does not exist. Costs or prices, are figures in invoices, but the coefficient of elasticity with time may be a surprise. Needless to say the networking traffic handling and the security implication in multi tenancy instances. Yes, in some things could work, but I personally avoid them as much as I can.

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Related Questions
User at samehgroup
Jun 06, 2022
Hi security and IT pros, Which firewall product would you choose for your company: FortiGate 200F or Sophos XG 310? Why this would be your choice? Thanks in advance. 
See 2 answers
Consultant with 11-50 employees
25 May 22
FortiGate. Fortinet is in Gartner Leader Magic Quadrant (MQ).  Sophos is in Niche Player Quadrant if I remember right.  You can never go wrong picking a vendor in the Gartner Leader MQ. Show the Gartner MQ to your leadership to get them on board too.
fdiazm - PeerSpot reviewer
Product Manager at Entel Chile
06 June 22
Hi,  If I look at it only from the point of view of analytics and performance, I lean towards Fortinet, but if I look at it at the service level and with the possibility of being part of an even larger project, this is when I don't see competitors for Fortinet and I mean the component. of after-sales services, the local presence in my country has come from less to more, which makes the difference when choosing a partner to work with.
Edwin EzeOsiago - PeerSpot reviewer
Regional Solutions Manager at Infodata Professional Services
Jul 26, 2021
Should one go for a URL Filtering as an add-on to NGFW or just deploy a Web proxy, instead?I am one who advocates that firewalls with URL Filtering can't serve better than Web security solutions (i.e., a Web proxy). What's your opinion?
2 out of 9 answers
Evgeny Belenky - PeerSpot reviewer
Director of Community at PeerSpot (formerly IT Central Station)
12 May 21
Hi @Oleg Pekar and @Manish Nalawade. Can you share your thoughts?
SE at a tech vendor with 11-50 employees
13 May 21
This depends on many factors like size of organization, how organization is geo-spread, type of NGFW and Proxy you are looking at or you have. And where proxy is deployed, onprem or cloud? With cloud you have additional options and companies like Zscaler and Netskope started to eat this part of market. 
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