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Published: May 22nd, 2014

Network security equipment vendor Fortinet is offering for free to channel partners a number of modular online courses meant to help network administrators build expertise on the company’s portfolio of network security products.

The new courses are specifically designed for self-paced learning and people can opt to take only the course modules that apply to their needs, according to Fortinet. Among the Fortinet products covered by the courses are: FortiGate, FortiAnalyzer, FortiManager, FortiMail and FortiWeb platforms.

Two new preparatory online courses, Fortinet Certified Network Security Associate (FCNSA) and Fortinet Certified Network Security Professional (FCNSP), can be taken at any time and help prepare partners to take proctored Fortinet network security product certification exams.

The launch of the courses coincided with the announcement by Fortinet that it has become the latest investor in Centrify, a provider of unified identity services that is known for its data protection and single sign-on solutions. This development signifies an intensification of Fortinet’s efforts to expand its presence in the enterprise security market.

FCNSA Preparation consists of 10 online modules plus one day of proctored online lab exercises. When completed, FCNSA prepares network administrators to implement, manage and operate Fortinet’s FortiGate products. Course topics include firewall policy setting, user authentication, VPN, virus detection, email filtering, Web filtering, application control and more.

FCNSP Preparation consists of 12 online modules as well as two days of proctored online lab exercises. The second course in the series covers routing, virtual domains, high availability, advanced IPSec VPN, intrusion prevention, diagnostics and resource utilization, among other topics.

Previously, both FCNSA and FCNSP courses were only offered in traditional classroom or live online formats. In order to make training more accessible for partners, the content of both courses were rewritten for self-paced instruction and broken into segments, which now allows students to focus on specific topics of interest. Both courses still include an online hands-on lab session that is proctored by a Fortinet trainer.

“Someone with a question about IPSec VPN, for example, can just take the module that covers IPSec VPN and not have to take the whole course series,” said Matt Phillips, director of training services at Fortinet. “These courses have proven to be very popular because they provide both theoretical and practical knowledge, as well as cover topics that Fortinet administrators and architects need to know.”

He said Fortinet implementing these online courses to make training more flexible and widely available to a larger number of channel partners. Initial response from partners has been encouraging, he added.

“Education is a key enabler, allowing us to expand our businesses and differentiate in the market,” according to John Gapinski, president of Fortinet partner Secured Retail Networks. “Today, Fortinet has found a way to make this fundamental training more flexible and accessible, and at no cost to partners.”

Meanwhile, Fortinet’s minority investment in Centrify’s Series E Preferred Stock round of financing also will also see the two companies working and using each other’s technologies in the future.

“Centrify has an innovative approach to enterprise identity management, and, as enterprise customers continue to migrate to cloud-based IT services and applications, the combination of our complementary platforms provides enterprise customers with a broad and powerful solution that is unique in the market today,” said Michael Xie, founder and CTO of Fortinet in statement.

 


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