Thursday 4 September 2008

Intel AMT - Active Management Technology and vPro gives us the edge

Having the ability to work with servers, workstations, and now laptops at a level where the machine's current power state is irrelevant can give us the edge when it comes to managing our client's networks.

Intel's AMT, or Active Management Technology, gives us that edge.

Using a simple tool like Intel's System Defense Utility, we are able to power cycle a system, redirect the boot source to a network based image, and more.

All of Intel's Q series Executive desktop boards and any of the new Centrino vPro series laptops have AMT built in.

Out of the box, we need to enable it in the system's BIOS, setup a new password (default out of the box: admin), and configure AMT for either an Enterprise environment where management servers will exist, or Small Business which essentially means it is stand alone.

Add a product like Microsoft's System Center Essentials to the mix along with Intel's AMT management pack, and we have an excellent foundation for our Managed Services solution.

While problems with the AMT setup are rare, they do happen.

We had a new Acer 6592G series laptop hiccup after the AMT was initialized and we had finished setting up the client's apps. On a reboot, a red flash went by where the AMT messages should have been. It took a number of tries to get to the message: AMT Error was all it said.

A call to Acer's support line, and subsequently into their top tier support people, and we needed to RMA the laptop. There was no simple way to reset the BIOS, TPM, and AMT.

Some AMT links:
Philip Elder
Microsoft Small Business Specialists

*All Mac on SBS posts are posted on our in-house iMac via the Safari Web browser.

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