Single firewall vs. multiple virtual domains
A typical FortiGate setup, with a small to mid-range appliance, enables you to include a number of subnets on your network using the available ports and switch interfaces. This can potentially provide a means of having three or more mini networks for the various groups in a company. Within this infrastructure, multiple network administrators have access to the FortiGate to maintain security policies.
However, the FortiGate unit may not have enough interfaces to match the number of departments in the organization. If the FortiGate unit it running in transparent mode however, there is only one interface, and multiple network branches through the FortiGate are not possible.
A FortiGate unit with Virtual Domains (VDOMs) enabled, provides a means to provide the same functionality in transparent mode as a FortiGate in NAT mode. VDOMs are a method of dividing a FortiGate unit into two or more virtual units that function as multiple independent units. VDOMs can provide separate security policies and, in NAT mode, completely separate configurations for routing and VPN services for each connected network. For administration, an administrator can be assigned to each VDOM, minimizing the possibility of error or fouling network communications.
By default, most FortiGate units support 10 VDOMs. Many FortiGate models support purchasing a license key to increase the maximum number.
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