Intel Sweetens vPro for Enterprise IT

The third generation of the chipmaker's vPro platform gets new updates for remote management even while a user's PC is turned off.

 By Andy Patrizio
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Intel today introduced the third generation of its vPro business platform, which will be available soon on desktops and has been shipping in laptops with the Montevina technology introduced in August.

The new vPro, codenamed "McCreary," is a combination of Core 2 processors -- either quad-core or dual-core models -- along with the Q45 Express chipset, 82567LM Gigabit Network Connection and Active Management technology 5.0.

vPro's chief appeal to enterprises, however, has been its support for advanced, remote systems management features. Accordingly, one of the major new enhancements Intel (NASDAQ: INTC) is touting in this generation of vPro is the Remote Scheduled Maintenance feature, which lets administrators do regular tune-ups on the computer and run maintenance even if it's turned off.

Greg Bryant, vice president and general manager of the Digital Office Platform group at Intel, said in an online briefing that this could translate into a 70 percent power savings because firms won't have to ask employees to leave their computers on at the end of the workday to perform computer maintenance.

The State of Indiana was a guest customer at the event, and spokespeople said the state's Office of Technology had been ordered by Gov. Mitch Daniels to get its IT infrastructure under control and go green wherever possible.

Using vPro, the state will be able to save $1.4 million to $1.5 million in energy costs over a three-year period by letting workers shut down their PCs.

"In the old days of desktop management, you would always 'ask' your users to leave the PCs turned on all the time," said Brian Arrowood, director of delivery services in the Office of Technology. "We don't have to do that at this point."

Additionally, the new Remote Alert and Fast Call for Help features enable users to get support immediately, even if the computer is offline. The PC can also be administered remotely, making visits to the user's desk unnecessary, since a remote admin can have full access to the system. Thanks to the Remote PC Assist and partnering with network security vendors like CheckPoint and LANDesk, users outside the corporate firewall can be serviced as easily as those inside the firewall.

"The quicker we can fix and repair issues, there's cost savings and folks getting right back to work using their PC for what they are supposed to be using it for," Arrowood said.

In addition to the administration functions, Intel has added security features to vPro as well. The new Access Monitor feature comprehensively and more securely logs IT activity on systems. It also comes with embedded support for Microsoft's Network Access Protection, which is also part of the remote maintenance functionality.

Bryant said these functions will work within existing operating systems and are not dependent on any particular operating system.

Article courtesy of InternetNews.com

This article was originally published on Sep 23, 2008
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