With the unveiling of its first dual-modem SD-WAN equipment this week, Fortinet doubled down on wireless WAN.
The FortiExtender 212F connects to the security firm’s FortiGate series of SD-WAN-enabled firewalls and offers up to 600 Mb/s of throughput via a 4G LTE connection. The 212F’s claim to fame, on the other hand, is its dual modems, which allow simultaneous cellular connections to two carrier networks, allowing traffic to be routed across redundant WAN links.
Each modem can hold two SIM cards, allowing the appliance to switch between various carriers – two at a time — to ensure uninterrupted service and constant performance.
We optimized the newly announced FortiExtender 101F, like the 212F, for thin-branch deployments with lower throughput requirements. Over a single 4G LTE connection, the appliance can maintain network speeds of up to 300 Mb/s.
Fortinet purposely separated the modem from the routing and firewall appliance for increased installation flexibility, unlike rival wireless WAN technologies.
In a joint blog post, Fortinet VP of Products Nirav Shah and Senior Product Marketing Manager Pat Vitalone stated, “SD-WAN appliances are commonly kept in areas like cupboards and basements, which might impair cellular reception and render the modem useless.”
While extra antennae and cabling are conceivable, they add unneeded complexity and potentially weaken the signal. Fortinet may prevent these headaches by separating the two, according to the duo.
Fortinet Increases Its Cellular Presence
We will add the new equipment to Fortinet’s existing FortiExtender cellular gateways and firewalls.
Fortinet’s 511F-5, the company’s fastest wireless WAN appliance, provides connectivity via 5G networks operating at sub-6 GHz.
“When 5G arrives, it’s feasible that customers may start utilising it as one of their major connections because of the capacity, throughput, speed, and lower latency,” Fortinet CMO John Maddison previously told SDxCentral.
With its FortiGate 7121F, Fortinet is dabbling in 5G packet core security in addition to cellular gateways. According to him, the large throughputs and expanded perimeter of 5G infrastructure prompted the construction of a more powerful firewall.
The system is based on the vendor’s own security processing unit ASIC. This is which can manage firewall throughputs of up to 1.9 Tb/s, threat prevention. Besides, the SSL inspection rates of more than 500 Gb/s, and up to 1 billion concurrent sessions.
“Nokia and Ericsson and these people develop radios, radio access, and packet core parts,” Maddison claimed, “but we’re the first firm to build something like this on this scale from a security firewall standpoint.”
The 5G Wide Area Network (WAN) is gaining traction in the mainstream.
Fortinet isn’t the first company to explore wireless WAN technology.
More over a year ago, Cradlepoint, a pioneer in the area, released its first cellular-enabled SD-WAN appliances. Cradlepoint enhanced its E-3000 appliance with inbuilt 5G networking functionality via dual modems this summer. This is making cellular as a key WAN link realistic for more customers, according to Cradlepoint.
Cisco unveiled its own 5G cellular gateways in January for its Catalyst family of service routers.
Cisco’s gateway, like Fortinet’s 5G-enabled FortiExtender, has a sub-6 GHz 5G radio for high-throughput, low-latency communications with any of Cisco’s Catalyst routers or edge appliances.
Source: fortigate firewall