Tri-D 2Factor Flex Card
Strengths: Uses open-source software
Weaknesses: Installation and configuration requires an administrator with considerable Linux know-how
Verdict: For entire open-source shops, this product is a winner. For other enterprises, this product is not ready for the primetime
The TRI-D Systems 2Factor Flex OTP (one-time password) Card is unique in its class for two main reasons. The first is that the TRI-D product is installed in a Linux platform instead of using a Windows 2003 backend.
The Linux option is always of interest to our open-source supporting lab, but, for non-Linux environments, the level of understanding and configuration necessary might be a bit of a reach. The company recommends a few Linux distributions to try the installation on. These include Solaris 10, Fedora Core Linux 5 and 6, RedHat Enterprise Linux ES4 and AS4, as well as Ubuntu 6.10. The client needs not be restricted to Linux or any other OS, however, because there is no client to install.
The second unique feature of this product is that you can embed an RFID chip into the card so that it doubles as a building access card.
The installation of the TRI-D Systems 2Factor Flexible OTP Card is not for the faint of heart. We used Fedora Core 6 as our core OS and mounted the CD easily. From there, the install is in six separate files, each of which needs to be compiled, copied and installed separately. For an administrator used to working with Linux, this is not as difficult as it sounds, but, for someone new to Linux, this process may be a lot more difficult to undertake.
You configure this product by editing text-configuration files, and, once again, this is best left for the Linux-savvy.
The accompanying documentation is sparse at best. It consisted of a single text file containing the installation and configuration instructions. Text is necessary because of the Linux environment, but most Linux distributions also support PDF readers, which would allow for the instructions to be indexed and searchable.
Since the server software is free and most components are available as open source, obtaining support can be a bit difficult. TRI-D offers many paid-support options at varying prices. A full lifetime warranty on cards used in the OTP solution is included.
The pricing for the TRI-D Systems 2Factor Flexible OTP Card offering was in the mid-point of the price spectrum, starting at £40 in low quantities.