Fortinet, Meru, FortiRu Forti-WHO?

Since last week’s open letter to FortiRu, I came to the realization that there may be some confusion related to Fortinet’s AP product line.  I decided to throw this post together so that it is easier to understand which APs are what, and which category they fall into.  Keep in mind this is a high level overview to simply point out the different AP product lines.

Lets jump right into it…

Fortinet offers three different management options under it’s Enterprise Secure Wifi solution; FortiGate, Cloud, or dedicated controller, and five different AP lines that fall into one or more of those management options.

Excerpt from Fortinet Product Matrix

Access points that can be managed via the ForiGate or the Cloud are broken down here:

Standard 802.11ac

Standard 802.11n

Smart APs

Universally Manageable APs

The FortiAP-S313C, which was given to attendees of the recent Wireless LAN Professionals Conference, falls into the preceding category.  You can read a great blog post about the FortiAP-S313C AP written by my apple butter lovin’ buddy Lee Badman here.  Please pay close attention to what Lee says concerning the licensing for these APs.  A true game changer…

FortiAP-S313C

There may have been some confusion with the FortiAP-S313C stemming from the Fortinet presentation at WLPC.   The FortiAP-S313C is NOT from the Meru pedigree of access points of which I will elaborate on next.

Access points that are managed from a dedicated controller are broken down here:

Standard APs

Universally Manageable APs

AP1020
AP832

These APs ARE from the Meru lineage of access points which I affectionately refer to as FortiRu.  These APs support Virtual Cell/Single Channel Architecture and are still commonly referred to as Meru access points.  The APs in the Standard AP list are all carry over from the Meru purchase.  The AP1020 and AP832 are models that we use in our school district and the models that I have the most experience with.  Both the AP1020 and AP832 have been rock solid since their release to market.  It is often confused that these standard APs are only capable of operating under Virtual Cell/Single Channel Architecture.  All traditional Meru access points can operate in EITHER a multi channel OR Virtual Cell configuration.

You may have noticed that under each section there was a group of APs referred to as Universally Manageable.  These APs can be managed using any of the three management solutions.  Just like its’ Meru predecessor, the Universal AP can be used in EITHER a multi channel OR Virtual Cell configuration depending on the chosen management solution.  I should have more to write on the “U” line of APs in the near future as we should be receiving some very soon.

FAP-U421EV

As previously stated, this blog post was intended to be a high level overview of the Fortinet/Meru (FortiRu) AP product line.  Clicking on the links and reading through the material will give you a deeper explanation into each of the access points.  As always, if there are any questions, comments, corrections, etc, please feel free to reach out to me.

2 comments

  1. We are big resellers if Meru and now Fortinet and whilst we like the UAP 421 and 423 and the newer 321 and 323. I would hesitate to deploy yours until 8.4 is out.

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