I really like the FortiGate firewalls. They are easy to manage and have lots of functionality. However, I am also aware of some other firewall products and therefore have some feature requests to Fortinet that are not currently implemented in their firewalls. I am sometimes forwarding these FRs to the Fortinet support or to a SE, but they are not really interested in that. ;( So here is a list of my ideas that could improve the firewall. Hopefully/maybe some of them will be implemented one day…
Migrating from Juniper ScreenOS firewalls to FortiGates, there are some differences to note with static NATs, i.e., Mapped IPs (MIPs) on a Netscreen and Virtual IPs (VIPs) on a FortiGate. While the Juniper MIPs on an interface are always used by the firewall whenever a packet traverses the interface, the virtual IP objects on a FortiGate must be used at least once in the security policy before they are really used by the firewall.
On the FortiGate firewall, address objects and virtual IPs (VIPs) can be set up with an interface. For address objects this has no technical relevance – the address objects simply only appear on policies if the appropriate interface is selected. But for virtual IPs, this setting has relevance on how connections are NATed. This can be problematic.
I was interested in the performance of my FortiGate firewall when comparing IPv4 and IPv6 traffic. Therefore I built a small lab consisting a FortiWiFi 90D firewall and two Linux clients running iperf. I tested the network throughput for both Internet Protocols in both directions within three scenarios: 1) both clients plugged into the same “hardware switch” on the FortiGate, 2) different subnets with an “allow any any” policy without any further security profiles, and finally, 3) activating antivirus, application control, IPS, and SSL inspection.
Triggered by a customer who had problems getting enough speed through an IPsec site-to-site VPN tunnel between FortiGate firewalls I decided to test different encryption/hashing algorithms to verify the network throughput. I used two FortiWiFi 90D firewalls that have an official IPsec VPN throughput of 1 Gbps. Using iperf I measured the transfer rates with no VPN tunnel as well as with different IPsec proposals.
I first ran into really slow performances which were related to the default “Software Switch” on the FortiGate. After deleting this type of logical switch, the VPN throughput was almost as expected.
This is a step-by-step tutorial for configuring a high availability cluster (active-standby) with two FortiGate firewalls. Since almost all firewall vendors have different principles for their HA cluster, I am also showing a common network scenario for Fortinet.
I am still a bit confused about the different switch types a FortiGate firewall is able to handle. While there are a lot of information on the Internet about the “internal-switch-mode” of “switch/interface“, I have not found any good information about the differences between the “Hardware/Software/VLAN” switch types that are configured via the GUI or via the “virtual-switch-vlan enable” CLI command. Though I still don’t know exactly all differences, I am trying to explain some of them here.
A few weeks ago I constructed an MRTG/Routers2 template for the Fortinet FortiGate firewalls. I am using it for monitoring the FortiGate from my MRTG/Routers2 server. With the basic MRTG tool “cfgmaker” all graphs for the interfaces are generated automatically. My template is an add-on that appends graphs for CPU, memory, and disk usage, as well as connections and VPN statistics. Furthermore, it implements the ping statistics graph and a “short summary”, which only shows the system relevant graphs.
This blog post is a list of common troubleshooting commands I am using on the FortiGate CLI. It is not complete nor very detailled, but provides the basic commands for troubleshooting network related issues that are not resolvable via the GUI. I am not focused on too many memory, process, kernel, etc. details. These must only be used if there are really specific problems. I am more focused on the general troubleshooting stuff. I am using it personally as a cheat sheet / quick reference and will update it from time to time.
It’s really great that the FortiGate firewalls have a DHCPv6 server implemented. With this mandatory service, IPv6-only networks can be deployed directly behind a FortiGate because the stateless DHCPv6 server provides the DNS server addresses. (This is unlike Palo Alto or Cisco which have no DHCPv6 server implemented.)
However, the configuration on the FortiGate is really bad because nothing of the IPv6 features can be set via the GUI. (And this is called a Next-Generation Firewall? Not only the features count, but also the usability!) Everything must be done through the CLI which is sometimes hard to remember. Therefore I am publishing this memo of the appropriate CLI configuration commands.
Two-factor authentication is quite common these days. That’s good. Many service providers offer a second authentication before entering their systems. Beside hardware tokens or code generator apps, the traditional SMS on a mobile phone can be used for the second factor.
The FortiGate firewalls from Fortinet have the SMS option built-in. No feature license is required for that. Great. The only thing needed is an email-to-SMS provider for sending the text messages. The configuration process on the FortiGate is quite simple, however, both the GUI as well as the CLI are needed for that job. (Oh Fortinet, why aren’t you improving your GUI?)
Here is a step-by-step configuration tutorial for the two-factor authentication via SMS from a FortiGate firewall. My test case was the web-based SSL VPN portal.
Similar to my test lab for OSPFv2, I am testing OSPFv3 for IPv6 with the following devices: Cisco ASA, Cisco Router, Fortinet FortiGate, Juniper SSG, Palo Alto, and Quagga Router. I am showing my lab network diagram and the configuration commands/screenshots for all devices. Furthermore, I am listing some basic troubleshooting commands. In the last section, I provide a Tcpdump/Wireshark capture of an initial OSPFv3 run.
I am not going into deep details of OSPFv3 at all. But this lab should give basic hints/examples for configuring OSPFv3 for all of the listed devices.
This is a small example on how to configure policy routes (also known as policy-based forwarding or policy-based routing) on a Fortinet firewall, which is really simple at all. Only one single configuration page and you’re done. ;)
Hier kommt ein kurzer Guide wie man ein Site-to-Site VPN zwischen einer FortiGate Firewall und einer AVM FRITZ!Box aufbaut. Anhand von Screenshots zeige ich die Einrichtung der FortiGate, während ich für die FRITZ!Box ein Template der *.cfg Konfigurationsdatei bereitstelle.
Since IPv6 gets more and more important, I am using it by default on all my test firewalls, which of course support IPv6. However, when comparing the different functions and administration capabilities, they vary significantly.
Here comes my short evaluation of the IPv6 functions on the following four firewalls: Cisco ASA, Fortinet FortiGate, Juniper SSG, and Palo Alto.