Chapter 5 – Best Practices

Shutting down

Always shut down the FortiGate operating system properly before turning off the power switch to avoid potentially catastrophic hardware problems.

 

To power off the FortiGate unit – web-based manager:

1. Go to Dashboard.

2. In the System Resources widget, select Shutdown.

 

To power off the FortiGate unit – CLI:

execute shutdown

Once this has been done, you can safely turn off the power switch or disconnect the power cables from the power supply.

 

Migration

Network administrators are often reluctant to change firewall vendors due to the perception that the migration process is difficult. Indeed, there is no point hiding the fact that moving to a new vendor requires careful consideration. But concern over the potential pain of migration should not stand in the way of adopting new security technologies. The purpose of this chapter is to describe the best practices for performing such migrations and ultimately to ease the migration process itself.

 

Information gathering

It is always best practice to perform a full network audit prior to any migration. This should include:

  • Full back up of all security systems (including switches, routers) in case a back-out needs to be performed.
  • Physical and logical network diagram with visual audit

Understanding exactly where cables run in the network and verifying they are all correctly labeled is essential to avoid mistakes and unnecessary downtime during the upgrade. Don’t overlook simple things such as:

  • Do I have enough spare interfaces on my switches?
  • Do I have the right fiber (single/multi mode) and right connectors (LC, FC, MTRJ, SC, ST)?
  • Do I have spare cables? (in the heat of the moment, it is a simple mistake to break an RJ-45 connector or damage a fiber)
  • Do I have space in the rack for the new equipment?
  • Do I have enough power sockets?

No matter how securely a FortiGate is configured in the network, it cannot help if it has been bypassed; visually checking where the device sits in the network in relation to other devices will ensure you are maintaining security and verify the network diagram is ‘as built’. Details of all networks including subnet masks should be documented at this point to ensure that the replacement device is configured with the correct information.


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