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Fortinet unveils SDNS framework

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Fortinet has announced its new Software-Defined Network Security (SDNS) framework – the first of its kind across the industry – designed to provide advanced threat protection through the integration of security in t the modern, agile data centre environment.
The new framework provides a clear vision and actionable steps in delivering a comprehensive approach to securing the data centre, while providing the most extensible platform for infrastructure integration with technology partners including HP, Ixia, PLUMgrid, Pluribus Networks, Extreme Networks and NTT.
SDN Security redefines advanced cyber security in a world where data centres are being transformed by the adoption of virtualisation, cloud computing, and now software-defined networking.
“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,” wrote 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.”
The new Fortinet SDN Security framework exemplifies the company’s innovations across all principal layers of the network architecture:
* Data Plane – the encapsulation of security engines from fixed hardware boxes into logical instances that can be more scalably distributed and embedded deep into virtualized switching fabric and abstracted network flows.
* Control Plane – the orchestration and automation of security policy with provisioning of elastic workloads to eliminate security and compliance gaps in highly agile, dynamic environments.
* Management Plane – a ‘single pane-of-glass’ for security policy and events across physical and virtual appliances, private and public clouds, and throughout converged infrastructure to ensure a consistent and compliant security posture.
“There is likely no single SDN platform that all enterprise and service provider customers are going to standardize on,” says John Maddison, vice-president of marketing for Fortinet. “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.”
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 virtualized and consolidated data centres. These efforts have expanded, along with the ongoing transformation of the data centre, including recent milestones such as: new Fortinet security appliances to support Microsoft Azure; membership in HP’s AllianceOne program to deliver pre-integrated; optimized security for HP’s SDN portfolio; integration with Cisco’s application-centric infrastructure (ACI), and network security efforts for VMware vSphere and SDDC customers.
As part of its overall data centre strategy, 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. Fortinet is currently working with more than two-dozen technology providers to ensure protection from cyber threats through Fortinet’s advanced SDN Security.