Cybersecurity vendor Fortinet (FTNT) has launched a Software-Defined Network Security Framework to help customers protect their data centers from being jeopardized.

The framework, which Fortinet claims is the first SDN-centric offering of its kind, was designed to provide users with threat protection by incorporating the company’s security solutions directly into data center environments. Software-defined networking security solutions have become necessary to meet the more fluid nature of software-based management needs, according to Gartner.

Fortinet said the framework is meant to tie together a number of changes and enhancements being made across its product portfolio so that users can deal with cloud and software-defined networking in a more holistic manner.

"While we are mapping it to [the framework] of Fortinet’s near-term roadmap efforts, we are also suggesting organizations overlay these framework elements on any security vendor they consider," said Warren Wu, senior director for Product Marketing in the Data Center at Fortinet, in an email. "The ecosystem message is not about us introducing or championing one standard or platform, but that we are implementing the security framework in an extensible manner to work agnostically with many of those standards and platforms from the enterprise’s vendor and platform of choice."

Several technology partners have joined Fortinet’s new framework, including Hewlett-Packard (HPQ), Ixia, PLUMgrid, Pluribus Networks, Extreme Networks (EXTR) and NTT.

"There is likely no single SDN platform that all enterprise and service provider customers are going to standardize on," said John Maddison, vice president of Marketing for Fortinet, in a statement. "Hence the reason we are developing an ecosystem to support different SDN platforms through proprietary and open Application Programming Interfaces (APIs). The key is providing scalable security modules that can be called on-demand, at the orchestration level.”

The company also announced an expansion of its partner ecosystem to deliver tighter security within their key infrastructure platforms, including SDN controllers, orchestration frameworks, hypervisors and cloud management. Fortinet said it is currently working with more than two dozen technology providers to add its SDN Security solutions to partner offerings.