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Fortinet joins VMware NSX partner ecosystem to enhance security for SDDC

Zafirah Salim | Feb. 4, 2015
Fortinet has also unveiled its new FortiGate-VMX Firewall Engineered for VMware virtualisation solutions.

Cyber security solutions provider, Fortinet, announced today that it has joined the VMware NSX partner ecosystem.

Along with this announcement, Fortinet also revealed its new FortiGate-VMX firewall appliance - which will be available in March this year - that aims to provide greater security for customers within agile, elastic software-defined data centres based on VMware vSphere and VMware NSX virtualisation platforms. 

Security for virtual and physical worlds

Rapid industry adoption of cloud and virtual infrastructure has created a need for transforming the way security is applied in the data centre. With Fortinet's new VMX solution, VMware vSphere and VMware NSX customers will be able to leverage Fortinet's approach to security, which automates the orchestration of network security with centralised management across physical and virtual domains.   

"The Software Defined Data Centres (SDDC) promises a highly automated, easily managed platform that embraces and secures all applications, for fast, safe deployment across data centres, clouds and mobile devices," said Mary Yang, vice president of business development at Fortinet. "Fortinet and VMware are uniquely positioned to deliver on this promise, providing the highest levels of security in virtualised environments."

FortiGate-VMX, securing data centres in transition

Today's data centre is rapidly changing in response to cloud, big data, software and infrastructure-as-a-service.  Software Defined Networking (SDN) and SDDC are also creating very dynamic environments which challenge the status quo of how network services are delivered.

In many data centre environments, hardware security appliances are deployed at the aggregation layer and can only see "north-south" traffic passing through the physical network. Conversely, inter-VM traffic (i.e. "east-west" traffic) does not leave the virtual switch in the virtual host, and network virtualization and software-defined architectures further exacerbate the volume of virtual traffic.

To address these challenges, the FortiGate-VMX solution interoperates with VMware virtualisation solutions in the SDDC, providing API integration that gives customers greater visibility and control of virtual network traffic regardless of network topology. In addition, orchestration with VMware's platform allows for automatic protection of new workloads.

Key FortiGate-VMX features include:

  • Current interoperability with VMware vSphere and vCloud Suite
  • Future interoperability with VMware NSX
  • Centralised management across FortiGate-VMX security appliances
  • Visibility into all vSphere virtual network traffic
  • Auto deployment and provisioning FortiGate-VMX elastically to new ESXi hosts
  • Instant-on protection of new VM workloads
  • Ability to retail session-state across vMotion live migration events
  • Object-based protection rules that follow VM's across IP or MAC address changes

"Purpose-built virtual security appliances will be increasingly used alongside hardware appliances to secure enterprise data centres, which are becoming increasingly dynamic due to rapid adoption of server virtualization and SDN," said Jeff Wilson, Principal Analyst, Security for Infonetics. "Fortinet is doing well in enterprise data centres, with a string of new customer wins and highly competitive hardware price-to-performance; this success will be bolstered by virtual appliance integration with VMware's virtualization and SDDC platform."


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