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Tests demonstrate Fortinet FortiGate is world's fastest firewall

FortiGate-5140B undergoes massive-scale, real-world testing and achieves 500Gbps+ of actual application traffic, three times faster than the leading competition.

Sunnyvale, California – Fortinet (NASDAQ: FTNT), a world leader in high-performance network security, today announced that the Fortinet FortiGate-5140B handled 526Gbps of blended application traffic and security attacks during recent massive-scale testing. These definitive real-world tests were created using the BreakingPoint FireStorm CTM, the industry's only product capable of creating stateful application traffic at the massive scale required to stress today's high-performance firewalls.

During the tests, the BreakingPoint FireStorm CTM was able to push 526Gbps of real-world traffic from applications such as Facebook, Pandora radio and AOL Instant Messenger, through the FortiGate-5140B. The FortiGate 5140B performed at speeds that were three times faster than any competitors' published results and maxed out at 559Gbps of UDP traffic. Putting the performance in context, the FortiGate-5140B can inspect 10 000 downloaded iTunes songs every second or 36 million songs per hour, or it can inspect 228 000 average size Web pages every second or 821 million pages per hour.

“In a world filled with applications and escalating threats, IT buyers must evaluate firewalls by looking at the effects of the actual applications seen in the network such as email, instant messaging, databases and social networking,” said Dennis Cox, BreakingPoint CTO and co-founder. “Firewall testing that simply looks at throughput, as many do, is faulty, and standards are changing to reflect demand for real-world testing. Fortinet has been a leader in performing real-world firewall testing throughout their development and QA cycles, and their ability to realise these speeds under actual network conditions is a testament to what proper testing can produce.”

Performance matters

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As a business grows and volumes of data increase, it becomes increasingly important to make sure the security solution in place is not becoming a productivity- and profit-killing bottleneck. This is especially true for financial services firms operating networks that require proprietary data to be protected while still maintaining low latency during client transactions.

Additionally, transaction-intensive businesses, such as e-commerce sites and retail data centres, can benefit from a high-performance security appliance, such as the FortiGate-5140B, as it can accelerate their business while helping to protect credit card data and personal information to comply with PCI DSS regulations.

The secret's in the ASIC

The FortiGate-5140B achieves its high performance through the use of custom FortiASIC processors that are built on a technology platform first engineered at Fortinet more than 10 years ago. FortiASIC processors provide the performance acceleration to block emerging threats, meet rigorous third-party certifications and ensure a particular FortiGate appliance doesn't become a network bottleneck.

Competing firewall manufacturers, on the other hand, tend to use consumer off the shelf processors (COTS) in their products. The downside to this approach is that such general purpose processors are not designed with security in mind and cannot meet the security demands of today's high-speed networks.

Testing methodology

Testing was performed by Fortinet using five BreakingPoint FireStorm CTMs in December 2011. Each BreakingPoint FireStorm CTM test system is capable of generating 120Gbps of stateful application traffic. The FortiGate-5140B chassis under test consisted of 14 FortiGate-5001B high-performance blades, with each blade capable of 40Gbps firewall throughput and up to 11 million concurrent sessions per blade.

Benchmark results

The FortiGate-5140B was put through a number of industry standard tests for performance.

* Stateless UDP traffic: the type of traffic typically seen in financial trading and streaming environments, showed 559Gbps for large (1 518 byte) packets, 547Gbps for small (64 byte) packets and 557Gbps for IMIX. The small packet performance was able to read over 813 million packets per second with only nine microseconds of latency. That's 1332% faster than Fortinet's next closest competitor's offering.

* Stateful TCP traffic: seen in today's typical enterprise environments, showed 542Gbps for HTTP and 526Gbps with real-world application traffic. Application traffic included Facebook, Zynga Farmville, Pandora radio, AOL Instant Messenger, Microsoft Outlook and others. The FortiGate-5140B was also able to process more than 2.6 million connections per second, roughly 433% higher than its nearest competitor.

“It's time for firewall vendors to back up their performance claims under realistic network loads,” said Michael Xie, founder and CTO at Fortinet. “This test proves definitively that Fortinet provides the world's fastest firewall, confirming our commitment to providing customers with an uncompromised combination of security and performance. And this is only the beginning, as we work to continue to push the Fortinet performance envelope even further in the future.”

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