Cisco Identity Services Engine (ISE) vs. Fortinet FortiGate

Overview
ProductRatingMost Used ByProduct SummaryStarting Price
Cisco Identity Services Engine (ISE)
Score 8.8 out of 10
N/A
The Cisco Identity Services Engine (ISE) offers a network-based approach for adaptable, trusted access everywhere, based on context. It gives the user intelligent, integrated protection through intent-based policy and compliance solutions.N/A
FortiGate
Score 8.7 out of 10
N/A
FortiNet FortiGate is a firewall option with high integrability. It offers a variety of deployment options and next-gen firewall capabilities, including integration with IaaS cloud platforms and public cloud environments.N/A
Pricing
Cisco Identity Services Engine (ISE)Fortinet FortiGate
Editions & Modules
No answers on this topic
No answers on this topic
Offerings
Pricing Offerings
Cisco Identity Services Engine (ISE)FortiGate
Free Trial
NoYes
Free/Freemium Version
NoNo
Premium Consulting/Integration Services
NoNo
Entry-level Setup FeeNo setup feeNo setup fee
Additional DetailsFortiGate pricing starts at $250 for home office use, up to $300,000 for large enterprise appliances. Must contact sales team for pricing.
More Pricing Information
Community Pulse
Cisco Identity Services Engine (ISE)Fortinet FortiGate
Considered Both Products
Cisco Identity Services Engine (ISE)
Chose Cisco Identity Services Engine (ISE)
In our case, the entire core of our network is based on Cisco technologies as well as user access. For this reason it was the simplest choice given that both by integration and by knowledge of the platform it was the solution with the least complexity and the best adoption …
FortiGate

No answer on this topic

Top Pros
Top Cons
Features
Cisco Identity Services Engine (ISE)Fortinet FortiGate
Firewall
Comparison of Firewall features of Product A and Product B
Cisco Identity Services Engine (ISE)
-
Ratings
Fortinet FortiGate
9.1
37 Ratings
7% above category average
Identification Technologies00 Ratings9.335 Ratings
Visualization Tools00 Ratings8.535 Ratings
Content Inspection00 Ratings8.736 Ratings
Policy-based Controls00 Ratings9.237 Ratings
Active Directory and LDAP00 Ratings9.436 Ratings
Firewall Management Console00 Ratings9.337 Ratings
Reporting and Logging00 Ratings8.437 Ratings
VPN00 Ratings9.537 Ratings
High Availability00 Ratings9.432 Ratings
Stateful Inspection00 Ratings9.235 Ratings
Proxy Server00 Ratings8.927 Ratings
Best Alternatives
Cisco Identity Services Engine (ISE)Fortinet FortiGate
Small Businesses
NinjaOne
NinjaOne
Score 9.1 out of 10
Sophos XG Firewall
Sophos XG Firewall
Score 9.6 out of 10
Medium-sized Companies
Nmap
Nmap
Score 8.8 out of 10
Sophos XG Firewall
Sophos XG Firewall
Score 9.6 out of 10
Enterprises
Nmap
Nmap
Score 8.8 out of 10
Next-Generation Firewalls - PA Series
Next-Generation Firewalls - PA Series
Score 9.2 out of 10
All AlternativesView all alternativesView all alternatives
User Ratings
Cisco Identity Services Engine (ISE)Fortinet FortiGate
Likelihood to Recommend
9.0
(39 ratings)
9.6
(64 ratings)
Likelihood to Renew
10.0
(1 ratings)
9.9
(4 ratings)
Usability
7.0
(3 ratings)
10.0
(6 ratings)
Availability
7.0
(1 ratings)
10.0
(2 ratings)
Performance
9.0
(1 ratings)
10.0
(1 ratings)
Support Rating
7.0
(6 ratings)
8.6
(26 ratings)
In-Person Training
-
(0 ratings)
10.0
(1 ratings)
Implementation Rating
7.0
(1 ratings)
8.0
(4 ratings)
Configurability
-
(0 ratings)
9.0
(1 ratings)
Ease of integration
8.0
(1 ratings)
7.0
(1 ratings)
Product Scalability
8.0
(1 ratings)
9.8
(2 ratings)
Vendor post-sale
-
(0 ratings)
10.0
(1 ratings)
Vendor pre-sale
-
(0 ratings)
9.0
(1 ratings)
User Testimonials
Cisco Identity Services Engine (ISE)Fortinet FortiGate
Likelihood to Recommend
Cisco
Overall, management is not terrible if you have a stable network that is not overly complex. If you don't, this product will take considerable time to plan for an effective solution. I will say support is not very helpful, so if you need assistance after the initial sales rep assisted setup, good luck and be prepared to spend hours on the phone.
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Fortinet
For FortiGate Firewall, the basic functionality and requirement is met easily as Fortigate is among market leaders in NGFW. There are some extra points that inclined us to use Fortigate as our main Firewall. [Fortinet]Fortigate has a very well refined and functional SD-WAN solution when it comes to load balancing for normal Internet Traffic. SD-WAN - Load balancing of Internet traffic is a USP of Fortigate and makes it stand tall in the competition. Be it 3 or more Internet Links, multiple Subnets/segments of users to distribute and bandwidth load balancing for links and users. SLA based monitoring of Internet Links / MPLS links, makes it even better to choose the links on the basis of performance (Latency, packet loss, Jitter etc). SSL VPN configuration - The deep CLI-level debugging is also very helpful in troubleshooting. Type of tunnel can be easily configured - Full Tunnel or Split Tunnel for SSL. Though, I think Fortigate is one of the best options for small and mid-sized organizations, there are some areas for improvement. First, the CLI interface is very hard to adapt as the commands and directory hierarchy is very different for common syntax and standards.
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Pros
Cisco
  • Manage high-privilege access to communications equipment. It allows to be granular in the permissions, to have it integrated with the LDAP users and, most importantly, to audit what tasks each user performed.
  • Profile users and devices and assign privileges and access levels based on that combination. It greatly improves the user experience, since it does not depend on the network it is in, but on the access levels it has depending on the device. It also allows self-managed guest access with approval flow, which is essential for our business.
  • It has also allowed us to automate actions based on findings from StealWatch, Umbrella, AMP, etc.
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Fortinet
  • It is the most reliable NGFW that we have ever been touch with it.
  • You can easily upgrade the firewall cluster firmware without user attention!!!
  • User IDentity based feature is fantastic and intrusion prevention just works with least false-positive possible.
  • Very reachfull and intuitive GUI, just love it
Read full review
Cons
Cisco
  • I guess the user experience itself, it's sometimes a little bit slow, but this is also dependent on the platform and the scale of the deployment of course. But actually functionality-wise it's really, really good. But yeah, it could sometimes be a little quicker to react on the good front.
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Fortinet
  • When we switched to Fortinet Fortigate, it took some time getting used to and become familiar with the new interface. Being used to strictly command-line interfaces, a full GUI-based firewall was something brand new. Careful planning had to be done when creating rules to ensure we didn't miss anything. However, once we got used to the new GUI interface, going from one Fortinet product to another was simple, as Fortinet used the same interface for all of its devices.
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Likelihood to Renew
Cisco
We are so very reliant on Cisco Identity Services Engine at this point that finding another solution would be a big hassle for us.
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Fortinet
Fortinet's products have kept improving with new software releases and they continue to deliver great value. Their support is also very good. I believe that as a small enterprise, their products have given us competitive advantage delivering features and functionality that enable us to innovate and do things better. They also continue to be a leader in the markets they serve.
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Usability
Cisco
For us the solution is very easily useable on its own. Perhaps that has to do because we started using ISE in the 1.2 days and have seen it grow during the years. Policy creation, etc. is all very visible and thus easy to use. Deployment of multiple nodes is also incredibly easy and flexible. You can easily add or remove nodes as you wish.
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Fortinet
The user interface shared among many simultaneous users is very easy to get around. With shared favorites among users, most tasks are easily bookmarked and can quickly be found and edited. Their strategy for web filter integration is easy to understand and manage as well. With some general direction, setup and maintenance were easy to do and easy to teach others in the organization to do as well.
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Reliability and Availability
Cisco
We do have to occasionally reboot the servers when they get low on memory, but we're also a few versions behind. Availability has generally been pretty good though with no major outages in the time that we've had it implemented.
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Fortinet
We had didn't any hardware failures at our two main office locations and upgraded our units last year after using them for about 5-6 years
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Performance
Cisco
ISE performance has never been an issue for us. The system doesn't tend to slow down at all.
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Fortinet
Good performance and really good integration. We have integration with Microsoft AD.
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Support Rating
Cisco
Cisco support is second to none, both in terms of how you access support but also the knowledge of the individual support teams. If you focus on one technology and provide "manufacturer support" then you can rest assured that you are accessing Cisco's top individuals. I feel like this is a USP for Cisco support.
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Fortinet
We live in Turkey. Fortinet's Turkey office [dealt] constantly with us in our every problem or our experience. In addition, global support teams also supported every ticket we opened in every problem we encountered. They support innovative approaches and evaluate and offer solutions. In this context, they were very supportive of the problems we encountered in previous versions.
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In-Person Training
Cisco
No answers on this topic
Fortinet
I received it a couple years afters use it and it was just to confirm my knowledge about the tool.
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Implementation Rating
Cisco
I did participate in the implementation of Cisco ISE and while there were times when it was confusing and we had a lot of trial and error, overall the experience was fine.
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Fortinet
Make sure that you have the most current version of FortiOS. Make sure all Fortigates are on the same version
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Alternatives Considered
Cisco
So the security team selected Forescout because of its inventory functionality. We have had to utilize Cisco ISE though to actually push the SGT Policies as well as the SGACL mappings and the SXP Propagation across the switch infrastructure. There is a lot more configuration that has to happen in Forescout in order for it to manage the switches.
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Fortinet
[Fortinet] FortiGate is not only cost effective but it gives the comprehensive security against the APT attacks and gives the complete traffic visibility and granular control. You can easily create the VDOMs (Virtual firewall) within a Fortigate firewall and customize the dashboard as per your requirement if you have multiple VDOMs within a single firewall.
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Scalability
Cisco
Yes, we have the ability to scale ISE to however many nodes and clusters we want, but of course this takes time and money for licenses.
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Fortinet
My environments are pretty small (less than 100 users per location) so no issues here.
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Return on Investment
Cisco
  • Cisco ISE is fairly expensive, but I feel that the time it saves our team is well worth it.
  • We have been able to roll this our to all of our teams, and they can each manage their own device and it is really convenient to have each team mange their own devices
  • Once it is deployed and configured, it seems like there isn't much upkeep, so we don't have to hire someone to manage it we do it by committee.
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Fortinet
  • Fortigates have an interesting bundle model for support and subscription services that make it an attractive option to deploy Firewall, IDS, Ant-virus, anti-SPAM in a single device. The cost of the bundle is pretty much what you pay for the device, not requiring huge expenditures on it's time to renew the hardware.
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ScreenShots