While tinkering with a few items during the final weeks of the year, the thought occurred - "How could I use Intel vPro Technology to decommission a system?"
For some customers - they are starting to replace first generation Intel vPro Systems (circa 2006) with the latest generation. Some are starting to make plans for replacement and upgrade with the advent of the 2011 Intel vPro Technology platform (you'll hear more on this in mid\late February).
By decommission - my focus was on wiping a drive before recycling the system. This will ensure no data is stolen and so forth. I decided to use a free and simple tool - DBAN (Darik's Boot and Nuke available at http://www.dban.org/). With an IDE-Redirection and Serial-over-LAN (SoL) session, initiated a complete wipe of a client system. The actual process to completely and securely wipe the drive takes several hours. This brought a thought to mind - if that system were very remote requiring travel costs and so forth... the out-of-band management capabilities of Intel vPro Technology combined with a tool like DBAN would be wonderful.
The other exercise I went through was to attempt data recovery from a failing drive. I used ProSoft Engineering's Data Rescue PC 3 (http://www.prosofteng.com/products/data_rescue_pc.php). I was successful in seeing a few files on a failing drive. Since this data recovery solution is GUI-based, a solution like KVM remote control in newer generations of Intel vPro Technology would be needed.
The last exercise I stepped through was updating the Intel SSD (Solid State Drive) firmware on a client. Imagine a situation where you are deploying, migrating, or updating systems within the environment... which is a likely step in connection with decommissioning old systems. If you're target systems require a firmware upgrade - such as a harddrive firmware upgrade - having a solution like IDE-Redirect with Serial-over-LAN could be very helpful. The ISO image for the firmware is available at http://www.intel.com/go/ssdfirmware/.
Heading into the new year, the next IDE-Redirect exercise I'm contemplating is optimizing Symantec's Backup Exec System Recovery (BESR) 2011 ISO for delivery via Intel vPro Technology. A similar activity was already done with Symantec Endpoint Recovery Tool (SERT) as explained at http://www.symantec.com/connect/articles/optimizing-sert-intel-vpro-technology.
Are there other great ideas on utilizing IDE-Redirect within your environment? Very interested to hear about them.