The FortiGate-6000 has separate data and management planes. The data plane handles all traffic and security processing functionality. The management plane handles management functions such as administrator logins, configuration and session synchronization, SNMP and other monitoring, HA heartbeat communication, and remote and (if supported) local disk logging. Separating these two planes means that resources used for traffic and security processing are not compromised by management activities.
In the data plane, two DP3 load balancers use session-aware load balancing to distribute sessions from the front panel interfaces (port1 to 28) to Fortinet Processor Cards (FPCs). The DP3 processors communicate with the FPCs across the 3.2Tbps integrated switch fabric. Each FPC processes sessions load balanced to it. The FPCs send outgoing sessions back to the integrated switch fabric and then out the network interfaces to their destinations.
The NP6 processor in each FPC enhances network performance with fastpath acceleration that offloads communication sessions from the FPC CPU. The NP6 processor can also handle some CPU intensive tasks, like IPsec VPN encryption/decryption.
The CP9 processors in each FPC accelerate many common resource intensive security related processes such as SSL VPN, Antivirus, Application Control, and IPS.
The management plane includes the management board, base backplane, management interfaces, and HA heartbeat interfaces. Configuration and session synchronization between FPCs in a FortiGate-6000F occurs over the base backplane. In an HA configuration, configuration and session synchronization between the FortiGate-6000s in the cluster takes place over the HA1 and HA2 interfaces. Administrator logins, SNMP monitoring, remote logging to one or more FortiAnalyzers or syslog servers, and other management functions use the MGMT1, MGMT2, and MGMT3 interfaces. You can use the 10Gbps MGMT3 interface for additional bandwidth that might be useful for high bandwidth activities such as remote logging.