FortiWLC – Using Fortinet Service Control

Using Fortinet Service Control

Fortinet’s Service Control feature is designed to allow clients in the enterprise network to access and communicate with devices that are advertising service via a protocol such as Bonjour. The limitation for Bonjour-enabled devices is that they were largely designed for smallscale use; however, they are growing increasingly prevalent in the enterprise-level environment. The nature of the service makes scaling for larger deployments challenging because the wireless traffic communications for these protocols cannot travel across various subnets; as such, users on VLAN1 will be unable to access a device operating on VLAN2 (for example).

Service Control addresses this problem by providing a framework by which Fortinet will direct traffic from clients on different subnets over to the Bonjour-capable devices (and vice versa), allowing seamless communication between the two. Additionally, users can specify which services should be available to specific users, SSIDs, or VLANs, allowing a fine control to be exercised over the deployment.

To enable Service Control:

  1. Navigate to Configuration > Service Control. By default, you land on the Service Control Dashboard, which currently displays no information (as the service is disabled).
  2. Click the Settings tab to access the Global Settings tab
  3. Check Enable Service Control. The page will automatically refresh.

Refer to the sections below for configuration instructions.

Modifying Service Control Global Configuration

Once Service Control has been enabled, the Settings tab displays two new tables: Discovery Criteria and Advanced Options. The Discovery Criteria allows the user to specify the types of services that may be discovered. By default, all AirPlay and AirPrint services configured in the system will be set for discovery across all SSIDs and APs and on Controller native VLAN by controller on the wired side. To modify this, click the pencil icon under the Services column to access the Discovery Criteria dialog.

Figure 12: Discovery Criteria

  1. As shown above, the All Services box is checked, ensuring that all configured services will automatically be detected by the system. Uncheck this box and select the desired service(s) if you wish to restrict the types of services provided.
  2. The Select Wireless Network section allows the user to customize which SSIDs/APs can access the services; by default, all of them are permitted. These options control how wireless devices access the services provided.
  3. The Select Wired Network section controls how wired devices access the services; enter the VLAN(s) that should be allowed access. To add wired gateways, click the Add button and specify the desired options from the resulting list of devices.
  4. Click Save to save your changes.
Wired Service Discovery using AP and Controller

Follow these steps for the wired service discovery using AP and Controller:

  1. The APs and Controller wired interface is used for discovering services. Add APs and/or Controller to wired gateway list.
  2. Ensure that the APs or Controller wired interface is tagged with VLAN on which services needs to be discovered and also the VLAN should be added to VLAN list.
Adding or Removing Services

The Services tab allows the user to modify the services that may be detected via Service Control; by default, several services are pre-configured in the system. However, users can expand this list by clicking the Add button to create a new service.

Figure 13: Adding a New Service

Fill in the required fields as described below:

  • Name—Enter a name for the service
  • Description—Enter a brief description
  • Service Type—Enter the service type string(s). If multiple entries are needed, enter them one at a time, clicking Add after each one. They will display in the Added Service Types table.

Note: To remove an added service, check the box alongside it and click Delete.

Click Save to save the new service.

Configuring Locations

The Locations tab allows you to specify locations where services should be discovered and advertised; by default, no locations are configured, so click Add to create one.

Figure 14: Adding a Location

A Location consists of three main components: the location’s name, description, and member APs. Enter the Name and Description in the fields provided, then select the AP(s) that belong to the desired location from the list. Click the button pointing to the right to add the selected AP(s) to the new location.

After clicking Save, the new location will appear in the Location Table. The AP(s) specified in the Location definition will now provide access to the service.

Creating User Groups

User Groups segregates Subscriber and Advertisers under a group. User Groups define which users/Advertisers (grouped by either VLAN for wired clients or SSID and Location for wireless) can access the advertised service or advertise the services. As no groups are present by default, click Add to create one.

Figure 15: Creating a User Group

A User Group consists of four main components: the group’s name, description, Role, and wireless/wired users with wired gateway list. These fields will allow you to customize which users can access the defined services.

  1. Enter the Name and Description in the fields provided.
  2. Select one of the Role for the user group. The options are Advertiser, Subscriber, or Both.
  3. Select the User Group Type. The options are Wireless or Wired.
  4. If you have selected Wireless user group type, then Select Wireless Section is displayed. From the Select Wireless Users section, select the SSIDs that should be allowed access. To select multiple options, click and drag across them. Ctrl+click to select or de-select items individually.
  5. If you have selected Wired user group type, then the Select Wired Users section is displayed. Enter the VLAN(s) that should be allowed to access advertised services.
  6. Click Save to create the group. The devices contained within the group’s parameters will now be able to access the advertised services.
Defining Service Control Policies

Service Control policies determine which user groups can access specific advertised services. Thus, the policies table allows you to define routes between the subscriber (i.e., the device that seeks the service) and the advertiser (i.e., the device that provides access to the service).


  1. From the Policies tab, click Add to access the Create Service Control Policy window. Figure 16: Creating a Policy
  2. Enter a name for the policy to be created in the Policy Name field.
  3. Enter the description of the policy.
  4. Use the Select Subscriber drop-down to specify the group that should be granted access.
  5. Select the desired services from the list supplied in the Choose Services section. Note that if all services should be included, simply check the All services box.
  6. Finally, use the Select Advertiser drop-down to select the group that supplies access to the services.
  7. Click Save to save the new policy.

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