How to choose a log device for your network topology

How to choose a log device for your network topology

When planning the log requirements, you must also consider your network’s topology and whether archiving is required, such as if there is a legal requirement to keep a historical record of network activity. The following explains what steps to take when choosing a log device for your specific network topology.

1. What is the scope of your network topology?

If it is a SOHO/SMB network, then logging to the FortiGate unit’s local hard disk or the default FortiCloud service would be efficient. If the network topology is a large enterprise, you will need FortiAnalyzer units, a FortiCloud contract, Syslog servers, or any combination.

2. Is archiving required?

If the network activity that is being logged needs to be archived, then, depending on your network topology, you would choose a FortiAnalyzer unit. FortiAnalyzer units store archives in the same way that FortiGate units do, but are able to store large amounts of logs and archives.

3. When troubleshooting, you may want to log a larger amount of traffic; how much storage space will you need?

Logs can be configured to roll, which is similar to zipping a file; this will lower the space requirements needed to contain them. You can also download logs from the FortiGate unit and save them on a server or on a computer to view and access later, to prevent them from piling up and being overwritten. If you’re regularly logging large amounts of traffic, you should consider a FortiAnalyzer or FortiCloud account .

4. Should I invest in a log device that can grow as my network grows?

All networks grow, so investing in a device that can grow with your network and that can be expanded is a good investment. For example, if you currently have a SOHO/SMB topology, but see growth already starting, a FortiAnalyzer unit would be best. A FortiAnalyzer unit provides ample storage space, and you can add two more FortiAnalyzer units to access additional storage and create a redundancy log backup solution.

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About Mike

Michael Pruett, CISSP has a wide range of cyber-security and network engineering expertise. The plethora of vendors that resell hardware but have zero engineering knowledge resulting in the wrong hardware or configuration being deployed is a major pet peeve of Michael's. This site was started in an effort to spread information while providing the option of quality consulting services at a much lower price than Fortinet Professional Services. Owns PacketLlama.Com (Fortinet Hardware Sales) and Office Of The CISO, LLC (Cybersecurity consulting firm).

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