Fortinet targets SD-WAN, 5G with new AIOps support

Fortinet fills out FortiAIOps portfolio which features WAN, wireless and LAN operations.

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Fortinet has added support for AI operations to its Secure SD-WAN and 5G/LTE gateways giving customers more insights into the networks linking their distributed resources and reducing  the time it takes to fix problems.

The company has expanded its FortiAIOps platform, which uses artificial intelligence and machine learning (AI/ML) to collect network data and analytics to help identify and automate problem resolution. The addition of Secure SD-WAN and 5G/LTE fills out the FortiAIOps portfolio, which already supported WAN, wireless LAN, and LAN operations on a single console to manage and secure wired and wireless connectivity.

FortiAIOps is a service that works with the FortiGate family of hardware and virtual components running on-premises, in the cloud, or in hybrid environments. FortiAIOps provides hardware and software configuration recommendations and can offer simplified problem resolution suggestions.

FortiAIOps augments the Fortinet Security Fabric, which includes security orchestration, automation, and response (SOAR) capabilities, as well as threat detection, threat correlation, intelligence-sharing alerts, and threat research and analysis. Threat intelligence is gathered from FortiGuard Labs, which processes some 100 billion security events per day –everything from zero-day threats to malware -- from more than 6 million devices worldwide, Fortinet says.

The system learns what normal behavior looks like across the network and can quickly react when something is off, according to Nirav Shah, vice president of products for Fortinet. “We can also spot network and security trends and let the network operations team know that they need to act now, rather than being reactive to a situation  later on,’ Shah said. 

The idea is to maximize network visibility and reduce trouble tickets, according to Shah.

By adding support for AIOps to its Secure SD-WAN offering, the platform can track  metrics such as interfaces, system resources, and ISP bandwidth to discover where problems might be across the WAN, Shah said.

“So, rather than go through all these different manual troubleshooting steps the network operations team is alerted immediately to where the issue is and if there’s a problem with the data center transport system or it’s an ISP issue,” Shah said.

The platform also gathers 5G and LTE metrics to help spot trends in those environments, particularly in retail and healthcare applications, Shah said. 

“With this release we are helping customers understand 5G metrics to watch over high-traffic links that may become saturated and ruin performance. We can understand the baseline of your network and if the saturation trend is going upward? We alert the network operations team when that line is going to be saturated so they can do capacity planning before an actual problem happens,” Shah said. 

The AIOps support is part of the company’s recent efforts to bolster its portfolio. Fortinet recently released FortiOS 7.2, which added 300 new features including AI support to help stop network threats more quickly, sandboxing to help fight ransomware threats, and improved SD-WAN, branch, and edge orchestration.

The company added enhanced analytics to its SD-WAN service that can measure the performance of connected voice and video applications. FortiOS 7.2 also adds automated deployment and orchestration features to make setting up, securing and managing branch networks simpler.

The new features for the FortiAIOps platform are available now.

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