1 Reply Latest reply on Jul 14, 2016 3:47 AM by dariusz.wittek@intel.com

    Is Vpro of any use for self employed, and Soho

    Overpopulation

      Reviewing parts to make a computer for work, i was more or less set on z170 boards when i stomped on Q170 which as i read has a feature called vpro. It is my understanding that over a hardware chip Vpro let do some work on a computer from distance, and also to automate some IT related maintenance tasks like backup scheduling if im not wrong, or even accessing your files remotely without the need to load the os. However im not sure if any of those or any other feature i have not yet heard of is at the reach of a sole self employed worker or a Small home Office working platform. I have no idea if any of those capabilities are for example available on some Windows edition, or if there are free or affordable software around, or even if some or most of them are actually managed from the bios manager.
      Could you clarify me if im wasting efforts looking in that q170 vpro direction because is not meant nor usable for this use scenario. Or are there in fact advantages on it, like making your desktop accessible from your laptop for some tasks.

       

      Keep in mind main use in the computer will be multitasking around content related, and data managing. Anything that could help in terms of productivity, either making some tasks faster, or easier with less manual input or automation will be highly appreciated.

        • 1. Re: Is Vpro of any use for self employed, and Soho
          dariusz.wittek@intel.com

          Hi,

           

          Intel Core vPro is platform technology that is best friend of IT client team in remote HW management (Intel AMT), IT security (Intel IPT and Intel Authenticate) and computer model flexibility (VT-x w. EPT, VT-d).
          As I assume you are your own IT support - there will be very little use of Intel AMT technology out of vPro platform - if OS will crash there will be no other than you who will be able to fix it (you have no external IT support partner/provider) - this is my assumption.

           

          The only potential use may by AMT based remote power on (over cloud -see meshcentral link below - to turn your PC remotely and then access your files inband via OS VPN/shared drive etc.
          Intel AMT HW KVM may also allow you to access your OS GUI remotely and launch tasks, control applications (process large batches of data etc)  BUT not direcly access your files.

           

          Please note also that your assumption of Intel vPro/AMT uController is pretty wrong (there is still a lot of AMT misinterpretation and FUD there) - it is not able to run your apps (main CPU is for this)  it does not have direct access to your HDD neither memory or programs/apps at all (by design).
          It is like server BMC controller to help you manage PC HW and potentially help to reimage OS remotely  than help to do your day by day work.

          Automation of IT tasks like backup use case is based purely on Local (Alarm Clock) or remote (AMT power on)  turning on the PC and letting OS to start but you have to schedule those tasks (ex backup) in OS itself.

           

          Depending on BIOS design you may find local BIOS /CMOS RTC based daily power on features in PCs based on non vPro chipsets  (ex Z170) (if they work it is separate question to OEM - see other question on this in this forum).

           

          Please note Intel AMT when configured can be used by Managed Services Providers to manage remote SOHO/SMB PCs over cloud solution - please check www.meshcentral.com is such provider has a contract with SOHO/SMB.

           

          On the other hand some other features that come bundled with Intel Core vPro platform may be useful for you  to increase your IT security:

          • Self encrypting Intel Pro SSD drives (with OPAL 2.0/eDrive) that may be leveraged by MS Windows 10 Bitlocker
          • Intel IPT - Identity Protection Technology -with chipset based OTP token capabilities, Protected Transaction Display  (secured pin pad) and secure PKI store/CSP provider  in chipset.
          • Finally Intel Authenticate -Multifactor authentication with 6th Gen Core  is worth to check.

            some of those security features are available also in non vpro Q series chipsets with Business Intel ME FW (look for Small Business Advantage support listed in ARC spec of chipset.
            ex. Intel Z170 does NOT support it (it has consumer ME FW) Intel® Z170 Chipset (Intel® GL82Z170 PCH) Specifications


          Last but not least - I assume you will use MS Windows 10 Pro  so to be able to leverage its Device Guard feature you need TPM 2.0 and I/O virtualization  support (CPU/MEM Virtualization as well)

           

          Those technologies are granted with 5th /6th Core Intel vPro platform by design and brand definition - may also come with other chipsets. ex. Z170 supports Intel® Virtualization Technology for Directed I/O (VT-d).

          Important note - your processor  AND chipset HAVE to support Intel® Virtualization Technology for Directed I/O (VT-d) as well - there is no ARK filter for chipsets -you have to check/compare  your chipset choice - for processors use ARK | Processor Feature Filter http://ark.intel.com/search/advanced?s=t&VTD=true&VProTechnology=false

           

          So - if you choose 6th Gen Core vPro platform - you will have all what you need  even if you will not use all of its features (it is better to configure Intel AMT to disabled state with MEBx Password changed if not used).

          Important note - your processor HAVE to support Intel vPro technology as well - see ARK filter ARK | Processor Feature Filter

           

           

          If you choose 6th Gen Core non vPro plaform with some of above features (VT-d, Small Business Advantage (Business ME FW)) you will have all what may be usefull for SOHO/SMB + you may have wider choice of Intel Core i7 with Iris Graphics.

           

          good luck

          Dariusz Wittek
          Intel  EMEA Biz Client Solution Architect