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​Fortinet takes “first of its kind” SDN portfolio to partner ecosystem

Security expert unveils new Software-Defined Network Security (SDNS) framework.
Jon McGettigan, ANZ Regional Director, Fortinet

Jon McGettigan, ANZ Regional Director, Fortinet

Security experts Fortinet has unveiled its new Software-Defined Network Security (SDNS) framework, billed as the “first of its kind” across the industry.

Designed to provide advanced threat protection through the integration of security into the modern, agile data centre environment, the vendor says the new framework provides actionable steps in delivering a better approach to securing the data centre.

In addition, it provides an extensible platform for infrastructure integration with technology partners including HP, Ixia, PLUMgrid, Pluribus Networks, Extreme Networks and NTT.

Locally speaking, Jon McGettigan, ANZ Regional Director for Fortinet, believes the company’s SDNS will have a “huge impact” on the Australia and New Zealand region in the coming months as more and more organisations move to a hybrid cloud/physical/virtual infrastructure model.

“There is likely no single SDN platform that all enterprise and service provider customers are going to standardise upon,” he adds.

“Hence the reason we are developing an eco-system to support different SDN platforms through proprietary and open Application Programming Interfaces (API’s).

“The key is providing scalable security modules that can be called on-demand, at the orchestration level.”

According to McGettigan, Fortinet’s efforts in the software-defined arena began more than five years ago with the first FortiGate-VM virtual appliances designed to secure increasingly virtualised and consolidated data centres.

These efforts have expanded, along with the ongoing transformation of the data centre.

“Information security infrastructure is too rigid and static to support the rapidly changing needs of digital business to provide effective protection in a changing threat environment,” adds Neil MacDonald, vice president and distinguished analyst, Gartner Research.

“Increasingly, security vendors are shifting more of the policy management out of individual hardware elements and into a software-based management plane for flexibility in specifying security policy, regardless of location.”


As part of its overall data centre strategy, McGettigan says Fortinet has been working closely with a large and growing number of partners to tightly integrate security within their key infrastructure platforms.

These platforms include SDN controllers, orchestration frameworks, hypervisors, cloud management, security management and analytics.

Also, Fortinet is currently working with more than two dozen technology providers to ensure protection from cyber threats through Fortinet’s advanced SDN Security.

“With recent efforts to leverage HP VAN SDN Controller orchestration of next-generation firewall (NGFW) protection for campus LAN’s, we have a strong collaborative relationship with Fortinet,” adds Michael Zhu, senior director of Solutions and Alliances, Global Product Line Management, HP Networking.

“With Fortinet’s new SDN Security framework, we are looking forward to working even closer with Fortinet to bring compelling Security solutions to our customers.”