Combined platform aims to ease PC management

Intel has introduced hardware and software designed to improve the way desktop PCs are managed.

Intel has introduced hardware and software designed to improve the way desktop PCs are managed.

Robert Crooke, vice-president and general manager of Intel’s Business Client Group, said, “We are packing features that address what plagues businesses most – security threats, cost of ownership, resource allocation, asset management and uptime – into a single platform.”

Intel vPro combines Intel’s Active Management Technology (AMT), Virtualization Technology, the new Intel Q965 Express chipset, and an 82566DM Gigabit network connection.

The hardware works with compatible software to improve manageability and strengthen security across networked PCs, Intel said.

Companies supporting the technology include Adobe, Altiris, CA, Check Point, Cisco, Hewlett-Packard, Lenovo, Microsoft, StarSoftComm, Symantec, Trend Micro and Zenith. IT services firms including Atos Origin, EDS and Siemens Business Services are planning to incorporate Intel vPro technology into their desktop support services.

The vPro technology is part of Intel’s Core 2 Duo microprocessor family. In 2007, Intel is planning to introduce an Intel Centrino Duo mobile technology platform, codenamed Santa Rosa, to extend manageability and PC security benefits to laptops.

One company that is running a proof-of-concept trial with vPro is BMW. The carmaker, which manages 100,000 PCs, anticipates that deploying PCs with vPro technology could result in significant cost and operational efficiencies.

The pilot involves Microsoft Systems Management Server 2003 with Intel’s AMT add-on and PCs equipped with vPro technology.

BMW tested Intel’s AMT out-of-band capability – a secure, hardware-based communication channel that runs “below” the operating system and is independent of OS health or the PC power state.

Using AMT, BMW was able to remotely manage power state and hence switch-on/off PCs. This could increase the speed and success of software roll-outs across the firm’s PCs and enable BMW to ensure computers are in standby mode during non-working hours.

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