Monday, October 27, 2014

[1 of many] Migrating to Fortinet 5.2 - Overview

This is a first of possibly many small remarks on migration process from Fortinet 5.0 to a 5.2 version.

The migration process went on smoothly. In fact, the entire prep and upgrade took barely 15 minutes! Fortinet has multiple advisories warning of all things that will go wrong basically implying that the entire setup may go crazy. In our case, we have seen some duplication of rules and weird behavior but the unit is fully functional and stable enough for a radical change like this one.

For instance, we have seen most web filtering and ssh rules duplicated in a format one rule per user group/type.

Similarly, some SSL rules have been duplicated but nothing that cannot be cleaned up in an hour or so.

Unfortunately, some quirks are annoying.

  1. It looks like the old method we have used for load balancing two WAN connections does not work as expected anymore. The spillover does not perform as expected: the unit functions as a fail-over from WAN1 to WAN2. See my next post for more details.
  2. The unit routinely goes from less than 10% load to 100% load. This is unusual for a machine that normally does not even break a sweat and was specifically purchased to exceed possible maximum workloads ensuring multiple years of continuous service.
  3. It is possible that both issues are related. Since the rules are managed and processed in a different manner, there could be a visible advantage (for CPU) in reducing the number of IP rules by levering a new method for WAN load balancing and aggregation.

Reminder of the setup:
  • Fortinet 300C
  • Two WAN connections set up in spillover format 
  • Multiple VLANs on the network (guests, administration, employees, students etc.) 
    • some completely isolated with DHCP managed by Fortigate such as guests
    • some are allowed limited communication between them
  • Fortigate is setup with two VDOMs with limited and controlled connectivity between them
  • Overall, we are talking about something like 100 IPv4 rules with specific web filtering, application control, IPS, SSL inspection and traffic shaping rules.

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