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String of network security patents for FortiGate product.

Fortinet : 30 October, 2007  (New Product)
FortiGate network virtualisation capability enables more precise control over patented network security appliance.
Fortinet has announced that the United States Patent and Trademark Office has awarded the company five additional patents for networking inventions, specifically supporting virtualisation. The patents are part of the intellectual property Fortinet acquired from CoSine Communications in a series of transactions between January 19, 2006, and December 7, 2006, which Fortinet's development team is using to enhance Virtualisation capabilities already available in its FortiGate multi-threat security appliances.

The five newly awarded patents strengthen Fortinet's intellectual property portfolio and provide the company with ownership of key innovations that address critical networking, Virtualisation and routing needs of large enterprises, managed security service providers and carriers. Fortinet currently holds 13 patents and has more than 80 patent-pending and in-process applications. The patents include Network Packet Steering, System and Protocol for Frame Relay Service over the Internet, System and Method for Hardware Accelerated Packet Multicast in a Virtual Routing System, System and Method for Managing and Provisioning Virtual Routers and a System and Method for Virtual Router Failover in a Network Routing System.

As networks proliferate and large enterprises, carriers and MSSPs build out more and more complicated infrastructures to support business-critical applications, the need for securing and segmenting those networks and applications increases. Virtualisation provides a method for allowing this type of segmentation, while also consolidating multiple networking devices, reducing network hardware and switch ports, and decreasing operational data centre costs.

Fortinet delivers virtualised network security by offering the ability to virtualise, or "divide," its FortiGate multi-threat security appliances into multiple, separately provisioned and managed instances through integrated virtual domain, or VDOM, functionality. Network security system virtualisation, using Fortinet's VDOM feature, provides isolation between each virtual system, giving administrators flexibility in configuration and traffic management capabilities on each virtual instance.

This unique approach to Virtualisation provides large enterprises, MSSPs and carriers a high-performance platform for manageability of multiple domains and networks from a single device with domain-specific administrative profiles; scalability for providing the performance to support thousands of virtual networks without impacting overall network throughput, specific users or applications; and the modularity that can only be achieved with a complete security suite that integrates firewall, antivirus, intrusion prevention, VPN (SSL and IPSec), anti-spam, antispyware and traffic shaping. Other vendors who claim similar solutions are limited to virtualising no more than three security functions, while Fortinet can virtualise up to eight, plus routing and switching.

Fortinet's virtualised network security solution is available within every FortiGate appliance, from smaller appliances designed for distributed and enterprise remote branch office deployments, to high-end and chassis-based systems designed for large enterprises, managed service providers and carriers. FortiGate systems include the following Virtualisation features:.

- Ten free VDOMs (additional licenses can be purchased up to 4,000 VDOMs).

- Virtual LANs (VLANs), ranging from more than 10 to more than 4,000, depending on the FortiGate system.

- Configuration and management of interfaces, VLAN sub-interfaces, zones, firewall policies, routing and VPNs as a unique VDOM.

- Support for IEEE 802.1Q VLAN tagging operating in both NAT/route and transparent modes to increase the number of network interfaces. Support also provided for VDOM tagging.

- The ability to provide multiple, integrated security services and control virtual networks across multiple security domains.

"Fortinet's unique virtualised network security solution allows large enterprises, managed service providers and carriers to segment and manage multiple virtualised networks and integrated security functions from one system and interface, thereby driving cost and operational efficiencies," said Richard Stiennon, chief marketing officer of Fortinet. "The technology innovation in these recently awarded patents will enable Fortinet to further our development efforts and continue to drive enhancements to the Virtualisation functionality delivered in our FortiGate appliances."
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