I am a Commercial Manager at a small tech services company.
I am currently researching alternative firewalls for Hillstone. Which FortiGate firewall model can you replace with Hillstone?
Thank you for you help.
There is no simple answer. Like Hillstone, FortiGate firewalls are a line with a huge range of capabilities. Here are some ideas based on our experience:
- Think about high availability? How stringent are your requirements? What would device reboot (minutes downtime), tripped circuit breaker (minutes to hours down), or hardware failure (days down or more) mean? Are you operating single or multiple installations? What is the availability of a replacement device? Based on that - are you considering a single device, a single device with a dual power supply, or a HA pair of devices? (We have quite good experience with a HA pair of 60F's.)
- What are the Internet and local network connectivity requirements? Is 1Gbit Ethernet enough, or do you need 10Gbit? Will FortiGate serve as a router for multiple segments of your local network? That may mandate 10Gbit interfaces on the LAN side even where your Internet connectivity does not require that bandwidth.
- Do you need a hard drive in the unit? Typically, it is used for local logging where remote logging options (FortiCloud, Syslog, etc.) are not practical or possible for technical, financial, or irregular reasons.
- Rackmount - do not worry too much about that - the low-end units (40F, 60F) are not rack-mounted per se, but you can get an original adapter kit or just use a shelf as we do.
- Remember that the HW cost is just a fraction of TCO, the subscription being a substantial part.
- On the HW capacity scaling - this one is tricky, as it heavily depends on the traffic patterns and on the depth of firewall scrutiny. Think more of the number of transactions (TCP connections, UDP "sessions") than the actual packet or byte rates. In our use case, it looks like the RAM is a more scarce resource than the CPU. FortiGate goes into Conserve Mode when hitting something like 75% RAM use, so it is a good idea to keep the normal usage around 50%.
- If you are using a virtualized infrastructure, you may consider a FortiGate VM form factor. Or you can request a free trial VM (feature-restricted) or full-featured evaluation VM (available on request) and use it for evaluation.
- Needless to say - FortiGate is a complex device with tons of features, and it has quite a learning curve. Additionally, some of the more advanced features are available in CLI only or have to be explicitly enabled to be visible in GUI.
- One more piece of advice - be conservative about FortiOS (FG firmware) major/minor releases. New releases tend to be quite buggy and it is a good idea to avoid anything that ends with a patch level less than about 5-6. On the other hand, do apply security patches diligently, some of them close really critical holes. For example, we are on 7.0.11 firmware, even though 7.2.4 and now also 7.4.0 is out.
Meraki MX series are all cloud-based management with on-premises physical firewall connectivity, so if the Internet goes down you will lose the management options to the firewall.
Whereas FortiGate Firewall doesn't need Internet for the first time setup. Also, it is easy to manage the management interface being it is available to local users when the case of internet connection fails. All other security features, policy creation, and VPN related remains the same as you see in any brand firewall.
The Cisco Meraki MX67 and FortiGate 60 are both firewall devices, but there are some differences between them:
Deployment: The Cisco Meraki MX67 is a cloud-managed firewall, meaning that it can be managed and configured through the cloud, whereas the FortiGate 60 is typically deployed as an on-premises appliance.
Security features: Both devices offer a range of security features, such as firewalling, VPN, and intrusion prevention, but they may differ in the specific features and capabilities they offer. For example, FortiGate 60 offers advanced threat protection, while the Cisco Meraki MX67 offers content filtering.
Throughput: The FortiGate 60 offers higher throughput than the Cisco Meraki MX67. The FortiGate 60 can handle up to 1 Gbps of traffic, while the Cisco Meraki MX67 can handle up to 450 Mbps.
The cost of the devices may also differ. The Cisco Meraki MX67 tends to be more expensive than the FortiGate 60.
Scalability: The Cisco Meraki MX67 is designed for small to medium-sized businesses, while the FortiGate 60 can scale to meet the needs of larger organizations.