By 14 October 2015 | Categories: Press Release



Fortinet has announced the integration of the Fortinet FortiGate firewall solution into the Cisco Application Policy Infrastructure Controller (APIC). APIC is the controller for Cisco Application Centric Infrastructure (ACI), the industry’s most comprehensive SDN architecture, which dramatically reduces TCO, automates IT tasks and accelerates data centre application deployments.

The new FortiGate Connector for Cisco ACI is designed with the security needs of software-defined data centres in mind, enabling physical and virtual networks to deploy policy-driven application services across Layer 4 – 7 fabrics. This integration further extends the Fortinet Software-Defined Network Security (SDNS) Framework, a first of its kind offering designed to provide advanced threat protection through the integration of security into modern, agile data centre environments. Fortinet’s leading high-performance cyber security solutions integrated with Cisco’s Application Centric Infrastructure (ACI) can help joint Cisco and Fortinet customers to significantly reduce data centre operating costs without compromising on security or performance.

Agile data centre security services

The promise of the modern data centre lies in the business agility that it can facilitate. Traditionally, networking and layer 4 – 7 application services have required manual configuration and constant management to keep pace with changes in the data centre. Today, organizations can more nimbly provide rapid, cloud-like services to users, customers and partners. They are also able to consolidate infrastructure components and services so that they are automated, driven by business policies and centrally managed for performance.

The new FortiGate Connector for Cisco ACI delivers application-centric security automation to modern data centres. The solution provides automated and pre-defined policy-based security provisioning for next-generation firewall services, enabling transparent security services insertion anywhere in the network fabric with single-pane-of-glass network management for full visibility on security policy enforcement.

“ACI delivers unique benefits to customers through policy-based automation, greater scalability through a distributed enforcement system, and greater network visibility through the integration of physical and virtual environments,” said Ish Limkakeng, vice president, product management at Cisco. “The FortiGate Connector for Cisco ACI delivers security protection for enterprise applications and workloads, while enabling automation for greater business efficiencies and cost savings.”

FortiGate connector for Cisco ACI

The open framework of Cisco ACI enables ecosystem partners such as Fortinet to seamlessly interoperate with the Cisco ACI fabric. The Fortinet SDNS framework provides the visionary path for security integration in a SDN or Network Function Virtualization (NFV) deployment and allows for a seamless experience with Cisco’s Layer 2 and Layer 3 network fabric. The FortiGate Connector for Cisco ACI requires two components from Fortinet, the FortiGate device package to Cisco APIC; and FortiGate physical and virtual appliances. The connector allows customers to choose pre-defined application firewall policies and automate security orchestration for FortiGate appliances across Layer 4 – 7 fabrics.

“With the shift to agile, software-defined data centres comes increased security concerns for many organizations,” said John Maddison, vice president of product and solutions at Fortinet. “The data centre is the heart of the network where application workloads are modified, added, changed, or deleted through manual security provisioning-processes prone to human error. FortiGate Connector for Cisco ACI eliminates these cumbersome processes and automates security policies so they can be centrally orchestrated with better traffic visibility and scalability based on application workloads.”

With this new offering, IT administrators can easily define the application security rules for different workloads in the Cisco APIC and configure the policies within FortiGate appliances. When a security policy is triggered during the application deployment lifecycle, Cisco’s APIC redirects the application traffic through Fortinet FortiGate appliances for advanced firewall inspection including IP reputation, web filtering, anti-virus, DNS filtering, SSH inspection, IPS, and DDoS without manual intervention.

In addition, the integrated solution enables:

  • Better visibility and security correlated with overlay and underlay networks
  • Lower TCO from reduced OpEx
  • Accelerated application and Layer 4 – 7 network security deployment
  • Increased efficiency in service provisioning and network security segmentation

 “As a long-term joint customer, we see the commitment Fortinet and Cisco share in delivering applications while ensuring IT flexibility. The solution provides the capabilities to configure policies that simplify and automate next-generation firewall services efficiently throughout our infrastructure” says Erik Sohlman, senior manager infrastructure, Axians.


The FortiGate Connector for Cisco ACI will be available in Q4 2015.

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