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How does FortiManager manage FortiGate?

FortiManager (FMG) is used to managed multiple FortiGates (FGT). It can retrieve/push updates from/to the FGT for configuration data such as vdoms, interfaces, policies, etc. What protocols do the FMG and FGT use to interact with each other? How does it work? I know that there is FGFM protocol and also JSON API but not sure about the details.
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pingmemaybe answered

FortiManager uses ssl to communicate to FortiGates using the proprietary FGFM protocol. This protocol was designed to deliver FortiGate configuration information to the specific FortiGate and also retrieve information from the FortiGate as necessary.


The JSON API was designed to allow third party web portal integration with the FortiManager and allow customers to build their own website but still be able to interact with the FMG to perform a limit set of configuration tasks.

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phantomscribe avatar image phantomscribe ♦♦ commented ·
Just to add, FG-FM is the transport layer. On top of that, FMG manages FGT mainly using the FOS CLI interface.

During the config process, FMG will import FGT's config, and store it (in its own database format) as CMDB on the FMG side. When FMG user makes config changes on the FMG GUI, that change will be translated into a database record. Then, as part of the installation, FMG will calculate the CLI difference between the existing and new FOS configs based on the database record. Then FMG will send those CLI commands to the FortiGate to change its configuration.

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