Every once in a while an invention or product comes along that really makes your life easier. The electric toothbrush. The Crock-Pot*. Automatic transmission. The Intel® vPro™ technology module for Microsoft* Windows PowerShell*. Things that, once you get your hands on them, you wonder how you ever lived without them.
Windows PowerShell allows you to create simple, viewable scripts that can be modified as needed, allowing for quick adoption of Intel vPro technology Out of Band (OOB) Management use cases. And, it’s right there in your Microsoft Windows* environment, available to everyone. As Bill York, Intel Enterprise Solution Architect, says, “Every company I support has somebody using [Windows ] PowerShell to support their Enterprise.” It’s ubiquitous. And the Intel vPro technology module for Microsoft Windows PowerShell lets you harness that ubiquitous power to help manage your remote Intel vPro based clients. IT shops can quickly and easily extend Intel vPro technology OOB Management into IT Business process automation to increase efficiency and effectiveness.
Along those lines, the Intel vPro technology module for Microsoft Windows PowerShell can help bridge gaps between some management consoles and Intel® Active Management Technology (Intel® AMT). For example, Microsoft System Center* Configuration Manager doesn’t enable KVM Remote Control when it provisions your managed clients. And many help desk staffers don’t have the credentials and permissions to access Intel AMT and turn KVM Remote Control on. But with the Intel vPro technology module for Microsoft Windows PowerShell, IT Engineering can use Windows PowerShell to enable KVM Remote Control on the clients, which in turn allows the help desk (with their more restrictive permissions) to take advantage of this powerful Intel vPro feature to better assist their callers. Says York, “The module allows organizations to configure the lower layers of Intel AMT,” which can also allow them to take advantage of Solution Reference Designs and Use Case Reference Designs that otherwise would have remained out of reach.
The upcoming version 3.2 release adds even more value to what you’ve already come to love. With the new GUI editor in version 3.2, your engineering team will be able to generate a customized Windows PowerShell based Intel AMT point-and-click GUI that allows you to take advantage of Windows PowerShell’s Intel AMT capabilities even if you aren’t a Windows PowerShell command line guru. This light-weight, customizable GUI lets you streamline the invoking of core Intel vPro technology OOB use cases. And version 3.2 of the module exposes Intel AMT (local or remote) and the local Intel® Manageability Engine (Intel® ME) driver as a Windows PowerShell Drive, allowing you to map to a client’s Intel AMT firmware from within Windows PowerShell so you can view and manipulate Intel AMT data on the managed client. For example, you can validate which Access Control Lists (ACLs) are currently in Intel AMT, or set timeout values that your management console doesn’t natively configure. “The sky’s the limit for customers to create their own usages,” says York, “without necessarily having to rely on Intel resources to produce these things for them.”
All sizes of organizations can benefit greatly from the Intel vPro technology module for Microsoft Windows PowerShell. Charlie Milo, Intel Enterprise Technology Specialist, tells of one large FSI account that that has been purchasing Intel vPro based clients for five years, whose environment consists of around 85% Intel vPro based clients, and yet, though they were impressed with Intel vPro capabilities, they have been unable to make use of them because their management console does not support Intel vPro technology. Enter the Intel vPro technology module for Microsoft Windows PowerShell. “It was a game changer,” says Milo. Using the module, they were able to execute Intel AMT commands on their Intel vPro based managed clients, thus taking advantage of the powerful remote and OOB management capabilities of Intel vPro technology that was already resident in some 85% of their existing PC fleet. That sure beats an electric toothbrush!
At another, mid-sized account, Milo was able to deploy the module to help the customer bridge yet another gap between their management console and Intel AMT. The customer wanted to use Intel AMT’s Alarm Clock feature on their 1,200 Intel vPro based PCs, but unfortunately that feature isn’t supported by Configuration Manager. But with the Intel vPro technology module for Microsoft Windows PowerShell, the customer could use Windows PowerShell scripts to remotely configure the Alarm Clock settings on all 1,200 systems.
And Intel Solution Support Team’s Steve Davies is having success with the module at his accounts, too. One, a high-quality television entertainment provider, will hopefully be using it in production soon to remotely boot their BitLocker-enabled clients. And another, a well-known European airline, may soon be deploying a PowerShell enabled use case that Davies successfully demonstrated to them recently. Davies also plans to show this use case at local Microsoft MMS events.
Even ISVs can benefit from the Intel vPro technology module for Microsoft Windows PowerShell, according to Milo. One ISV that focuses on Client-Side Virtualization to help centrally manage PCs was able to leverage the module to incorporate features like remote power on and IDE Redirection (IDE-R) into their product, even though it does not yet natively support Intel vPro management capabilities.
And these are just some of the module success stories out there. Got one of your own? Feel free to relate it in the comments section of this blog.
But, like one of those late-night infomercials on cable TV, that’s not all. In addition to revolutionizing our customers’ relationships with their Intel vPro technology based clients, the module is helping to revolutionize the way Intel sells Intel vPro technology itself. The module is part of a growing suite of Intel-developed tools that allow us to provide everything our customers need to get up and running with Intel vPro technology. Intel® Setup and Configuration Service (Intel® SCS), the Intel vPro technology module for Microsoft Windows PowerShell, and a growing number of Solution Reference Designs and Use Case Reference Designs from BCPD Engineering, are making it possible for customers to purchase, provision, configure, and use Intel vPro technology—and start seeing real value right from the start—regardless of whether their entrenched management console supports Intel vPro features or not. What’s more, these tools allow us to deploy new Intel vPro features directly to our customers, on our own cadence, without waiting (and pleading) for ISVs to support those great new features.
In short, these tools like the Intel vPro technology module for Microsoft Windows PowerShell are putting Intel in the driver’s seat, in command of our own destiny with regard to the success of Intel vPro technology.
Kind of a nice feeling, isn’t it?