Cozumel, Mexico – High-end network security solutions firm Fortinet Inc. is going after the smaller network operations and the SMB space with some of its latest appliance releases.

The foundation of the company’s connected unified threat management offerings hinges on integration and management features found in its new FortiGate and FortiWiFi power over Ethernet (POE) products which were among the 12 new releases Fortinet announced today at the conclusion of its 2014 partner conference, held over the weekend on this southern island of Mexico.

For instance, Fortinet’s FG 280D POE which has a total of 84 ports is especially built for smaller networks such as small retail locations and healthcare facilities that want to take advantage of high port density to reduce or eliminate devices in their infrastructure such as switches to cut costs and complexity.

The FG 280D POE appliance costs $7,975 and has 10 Gigabit Ethernet SFP+, firewall throughput of 4GBps and capable of handling 3.2 million concurrent sessions.

“Fortinet’s vision for retailers, branch offices and other massively distributed enterprise environments are connected [unified threat management] UTM,” said Patrick Bedwell, vice-president of product marketing for Fortinet. “By integrating the flexibility of Fortinet’s UTM appliances, wireless access points, wireless WAN extenders and switching products, business can simplify their complex networks, improve management and ensure seamless policy enforcement… and reduce cost while enjoying all the benefits of high performance network security.”

The connected UTM platform incorporates the ability to connect and manage multiple devices through integrated PoE ports. This way, multiple devices such as wireless access points, point-of-sales (POS) devices, network video cameras and video recorders, digital signage as well as IP telephony systems can be attached and managed through FortiGate.

At least one industry analyst said in the near future more security management functionalities will come under the umbrella of UTM appliances.

“As UTM appliances continue to integrate discrete security functions such as firewalls, AV, IPS, Web content filtering and other, we also see an emerging trend where UTM appliances will extend their security policy enforcement to include and integrate the management functionality of WLAN, VoIP, IP-based cameras and more,” said John Grady, research manager at analyst firm IDC.

He said Fortinet’s connected UTM approach exemplifies this trend.

Portfolio of appliances offer office connectivity in a box

Other products released by Fortinet today include the Fortinet’s new FortiGate/FortiWiFi-30D PoE, FortiGate/FortiWiFi-60D PoE, and FortiGate/FortiWiFi-90D PoE.

Together with the FG 280D POE, these products integrate the full suite of UTM security features plus Wi-Fi access point control, switching, authentication, endpoint management and policy control in a single device.
This consolidated approach allows businesses to enforce policies across a number of device types and provide better security by having these devices plugged into and managed by a single FortiGate.

To boost wireless connections, Fortinet also released its FortiAP-221C and FortiAP-320C which support the new 802.11ac wireless standard, which offers data rates in excess of 1 Gbps. The products helps customers meet higher bandwidth requirements for guest Wi-Fi access without slowing down the performance of critical corporate data.

In addition, by using FortiAP access points or FortiWiFi models, retailers can segment their network in order to provide guest access while maintaining PCI and DSS compliance.

For organizations requiring broadband as their primary connection or continuity fail-over, Fortinet offers the FortiExtender-100B, an unobtrusive device that acts as a 3G/4G wireless WAN extender for improved relaying of critical data between a service provider and a FortiGate device.

The FortiGate and the FortiExtender devices can be separated by as much as 100 meters, allowing the FortiGate to be in a basement or wiring closet and the FortiExtender antenna to be mounted in a different location.

Switches offer easy network expansion

Fortinet also introduced two new switching appliances that extend the connected capabilities of the FortiGate platform.

The FortiSwitch-224D POE is a rack-mount appliance with 24 (10/100/1000) access ports and 12 PoE ports, and the FortiSwitch-108D POE is a desktop appliance that offers 10 (10/100/1000) access ports and 8 PoE ports.

These switches enable organizations to seamlessly integrate additional IP devices such as wireless access points, IP phones and other PoE equipment into the network.

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