HID Global ActivID Appliance
Strengths: Easy to install, lots of features.
Weaknesses: Policies and more specific feature setups were difficult.
Verdict: Great for large enterprises with experienced administration, but pricey on the support packages considering the overall appliance price.
HID Global ActivID Appliance -FT 5000SCA offers a wide variety of strong authentication measures for several services and online applications. These include VPN/remote access, terminal services, web-based internal or cloud applications, RADIUS, SAMLv2-based authentication portal and web-service APIs. We evaluated the physical device. However, it is also available as a virtual appliance.
The initial configuration onto our network was simple and straightforward. All of the steps for setup were explained in the quick-start guide and we needed nothing more than that. Once we had the network details put into place, we switched over to the web interface and finished the configuration. When we first navigated to the web interface, we were guided through a step-by-step setup to enable all the components we wanted, as well as configuration of all the users for the interfaces and portals. Next, the appliance loads up an embedded Oracle database and the remaining configuration is done without any user involvement. It took about a half hour for this to finish. After that was done, the interface was a bit slow when navigating between the portals to see where we could access the services this appliance offers.
Centralized management is available through the appliance's user interface. This can be installed in a variety of scenarios using all or only some of the components. The Authentication Server provided the authentication infrastructure to meet any cross-channel requirements. The Configurer Portal was used to maintain policies. The appliance included some preloaded templates that we thought were thorough and acceptable. The Authentication portal was where the SAML front-end portal lies. It provided us with the authentication to the console. The Self-Service Portal is another web-based interface where the appliance offers end-user activation. It is also where we found the management services for software and hardware authentication devices. This portal is a huge convenience factor for large organizations, and also provides a lower total cost of ownership.
There are two options available for support. The fees charged are 20 percent of the list price for eight-hours-a-day/five-days-a-week package and 25 percent for 24/7 support. Both packages offer phone and email assistance.
The documentation was flawless. Through the web-based user interface console, there is a link to all the documentation. Included here were user-oriented manuals, installation documents and supplemental materials.
The price for the tool we tested, which is the hardware appliance with no hardware security module, comes to $10,999. Licensing for this product averages around $40 for midsized enterprises and around $11 for midsized online banking deployments. And HID Global applies discounts for larger deployments. The recurring cost for upgrades is part of both support packages. The company offers a $1,999 warranty extension for three years over the baseline one year. It also offers a three-year package for $3,999.
Shelby Descoteaux contributed to this review.