Let me introduce myself. My name is Omer Livne and I’ve worked for Intel since 2003, in various organizations (from Purchasing to Finance and now IT). During the last 2.5 years I’ve been responsible for vPro activation for Intel IT.
Intel® vPro™ technology is a set of security and manageability capabilities built into the Intel Core vPro processor family, Intel chipsets, and network adapters. Intel® AMT is one of vPro core capabilities that provides remote management capabilities of the PC fleet, regardless of the Operating System state or PC power state. In order to use AMT, the IT organization must configure the Management Engine (Intel® ME) and to create a trust between the computer and its IT organization.
Intel has a very complex IT environment. Most of our fleet is mobile, many are primary wireless and their IP's keep changing by the minute. We're working around the globe, with over 100K vPro clients.
We've been using different tools while waiting for a comprehensive management solution to help us with configuring and managing our complex environment.
When Intel Setup and Configuration Software 7 (SCS 7) was released about a year ago, those of us in IT were really excited. It provided us with a stable and reliable solution to configure and manage our clients and it could be integrated into our existing IT procedures (i.e - client build, scripts for PC technicians, etc.).
We designed a stable environment which was based on SCS for all AMT activities, and other client management consoles for all OS related client activities. Since it worked so well for us, we even decided to share our experience in a white paper.
Now, even though SCS 7 was a huge step forward, it was not quite the optimal solution for all our needs. We still needed to find a way to collect the data from our clients, analyze it and act upon it. Some of the maintenance activities were challenging, and required some creative thinking in using of external utilities. That's where SCS 8.1 came in and solved a lot of these challenges. By the way, you can get your own free version of Intel SCS 8.1 here.
We immediately took advantage of its database and diagnostics capabilities, and started to get valuable information from our clients. It provides quick snapshots of the health status of our environment with just a few mouse clicks.
One of the great benefits of SCS 8.1 is that it's flexible and can be easily adjusted to any environment. You can define variety of configuration profiles, with or without WLAN support, with or without 802.1x support, with or without CIRA (or FCFH - Fast Call For Help) support, or even just one profile that fits all.
It can be used in a global environment like ours as a single instance or with multiple servers across the globe. It even has built-in capabilities for configuration and maintenance, as well as hostname mismatch resolution.
But the coolest thing about it is the fact that it really simplifies management of our vPro fleet.
I can't wait until we complete our full deployment of SCS 8.1 in Intel IT within the coming weeks. We are looking forward to using the even better management and analysis tools on our vPro fleet. If you ever used vPro, thinking of using it or simply wondering about it, I’ll be happy to hear and assist. Let me know what’s on your mind.