Industry Trends

Fortinet Achieves VMware Ready™ Status for Network Functions Virtualization!

By Warren Wu | October 17, 2016

Network Functions Virtualization (NFV) offers unprecedented opportunities for communication service providers to adopt new business models, radically lower costs, and increase the speed of innovation and delivery of next-generation services. While the potential benefits of NFV are enormous, ensuring effective security is a key consideration for service providers.

Protecting these highly dynamic environments requires a Security Fabric with tightly integrated security and network technologies that share intelligence and collaborate to detect, isolate, and respond to threats in real time. Fortinet recognizes the importance of having an open system that supports and secures as many NFV solutions in the industry as needed in order to meet the requirements of our service provider customers.

At VMworld® 2016 US, Fortinet was the first security provider to demonstrate the integration of its virtual enterprise firewall solution, FortiGate VMX, with VMware NSX® and VMware Integrated OpenStack environments.  This was a great proof point of the openness of the Fortinet Security Fabric in integrating with industry partner products and platforms.

Fortinet has been engaged with key service provider customers to address their needs for enhanced security capabilities in their NFV environments, and now, on the eve of VMworld 2016 Europe Fortinet is pleased to announce it has achieved VMware Ready™ Status for Network Functions Virtualization!

As a VMware Technology Alliance Partner, Fortinet has completed VMware’s rigorous validation process and is proud to achieve their highest level of endorsement, as described in the VMware Solutions Exchange (VSX).

In addition, Fortinet has also achieved VMware vCloud Director compatibility certification, as indicated in the VMware Compatibility Guide. These achievements are a significant step forward in enabling service providers to offer true “security-as-a-service” delivery models on commodity CPE, while benefitting from rapid service provisioning and delivery of consolidated services.

Let’s look at this in more depth. What this certification validates is that you can take the virtual network functions, such as firewall, IPS NAT, DHCP, etc., in FortiGate-VM and deploy them as customized virtual Customer Premises Equipment (vCPE) instantly, completely decoupling network security functions from the underlying hardware, and thereby gaining significantly increased flexibility. This brings a lot of agility to network and security provisioning, combined with significant CAPEX and OPEX savings. 

The figure above illustrates the vCPE concept. Picture the same underlying x86 hardware supporting VMware vCloud NFV infrastructure, but with different FortiGate virtual network functions on the top of the stack, as illustrated below. 

The benefits of such vCPEs are enormous as they help reduce the amount and cost of physical third party x86 hardware appliances required at customer premises - especially in deployments with on-demand hosting connectivity that has ever-changing, workload-driven network security requirements per tenant.

Fortinet already leads the way in terms of physical security appliance global market share. Today, with the newly-achieved VMware NFV-Ready status, FortiGate-VM can be deployed as network security Virtual Network Functions (VNFs) in NFV service chains, delivering unprecedented security capabilities to service providers.

Special thanks and congratulations to the NFV-Ready test team who validated FortiGate-VM in the environment, which consisted of VMware Integrated OpenStack (VIO), vSphere, vCloud Director, as well as the NSX. With this achievement, service providers can now leverage Fortinet to implement unparalleled security in their environments, while taking advantage of the many benefits that NFV provides.

Come visit us at VMworld 2016 Europe in Barcelona at booth #G315 in Hall 7 to learn more about Fortinet’s new VMware Ready status for NFV, and connect with our experts at the booth to gain deeper insight into Fortinet’s industry-leading security products and solutions, including the Fortinet Security Fabric, designed to address your needs!