This item is the yearly support and maintenance for various network security and connectivity items from Fortinet
In 1984 John Gage is credited with saying that “the network is the computer”.
The world of information technology has radically changed since that time but the point is as true then as it is today.
Everywhere you go you will find information technology stuff and to be useful that stuff requires a network for communication and a network is comprised of various parts and pieces to enable and secure networking.
Before you is renewal of support and maintenance of a number of parts and pieces that we use for our own network here at the City of Prescott.
If I were in your seat and reading this memo I can think of two questions that I would have:
· What are these items?
· Why Fortinet?
121 different elements and they range from network switches and firewalls, application delivery controllers, WiFi access points, and software to tie the parts and pieces together in various ways.
Lots of companies make these items and one of the approaches in an IT group is to look for best of breed products and see if and where one can tie those products together like a patchwork quilt.
Tying the items together is desirable to lower operational and maintenance costs as well as to look for patterns and anti-patterns in the information that is gathered by these devices.
What Fortinet does well, and is one of the drivers that makes them unique, is design the parts and pieces to work well together and complement each other.
By way of analogy this takes the patchwork quilt idea and turns it on its head as the quilt is ready to go from the factory and doesn’t require engineering or manufacturing on our part to take advantage of the benefits of this integration.
What this translates to in practical terms is lowered operational and maintenance costs, much quicker time to deployment for services, and an innately simpler way to know what is going on within our network.
That last word there – ‘network’ – is a bit of a misnomer as our own ‘network’ is comprised of a couple hundred interconnected networks.
The key then for network equipment is to make managing a multi-headed beast like a network simpler without sacrificing performance, reliability, or security along the way.
Fortinet does that for us and I would expect that we will continue to expand our use of Fortinet products within our IT operations here at the City of Prescott.
This item is a FY2020 budgeted item with funding coming from the general fund and IT cost recovery.