by Matt Gillespie
Developer Resources for Intel® Active Management Technology
In order to help get software solutions into the marketplace that provide rich support for Intel® Active Management Technology (Intel® AMT), Intel provides a robust set of freely downloadable tools for software developers, including a software development kit (SDK), a reference design kit (RDK), and the Setup and Configuration Service (SCS). By providing application programming interfaces (APIs), libraries, and sample code, these tools help software providers get high-quality solutions to market quickly.
Intel® Active Management Technology (Intel® AMT) is a set of firmware-resident hardware capabilities that enable network-management applications to perform sophisticated remote functions, even when the target device is powered off or has a corrupted operating system (OS). Because this technology helps to safeguard system administrators' ability to manage systems remotely and minimize costly desk-side visits, Intel AMT represents a substantial advantage to customers. Because the means for customers to implement this technology relies on software implementations, Intel makes a powerful set of tools available to software makers, helping to facilitate the integration of Intel AMT into network-manageability applications:
- Intel AMT Software Development Kit (SDK) provides the low-level programming capabilities to enable developers to build manageability applications that take full advantage of Intel AMT.
- Intel AMT Reference Design Kit (RDK) includes a set of customizable, open-source software building blocks that developers can use to rapidly build Intel AMT console applications.
- Intel AMT Setup and Configuration Service (SCS) automates the task of populating Intel AMT platforms with credentials and parameters that enable them to be administered remotely.
This document provides an overview of each of these tool sets, including its value in the development process, a high-level description of what is included, and where to go to learn more. For more information on the capabilities of Intel AMT, see the Intel® Manageability Developer Community, which includes tool downloads, technical documentation, use cases, discussion forums, and special software partner opportunities. A comprehensive technical description of Intel AMT is available from the Architecture Guide on that site.
SDK Supports Low-Level Intel AMT Programming Functionality
The Intel AMT SDK provides application programming interfaces (APIs) and sample code that enable developers to implement Intel AMT functionality in solutions built to run on either Microsoft Windows* or Linux*. This combination allows software developers to rapidly become familiar with the requirements of programming for Intel AMT, as well as to bring robust next-generation network-management solutions to market.
The SDK's libraries and APIs provide abstraction of calls to the nonvolatile storage that houses Intel AMT data as well as enabling remote m anagement of Intel AMT devices by means of Serial-over-LAN and IDE-Redirection sessions. This abstraction allows developers to easily implement key Intel AMT functionality without having to create it from scratch. Simple Object Access Protocol (SOAP)-based Intel AMT network interfaces are provided in the SDK in the form of Web Services Description Language (WSDL) files, and sample code is also included that helps guide software developers in writing their own Intel AMT applications. The SDK can be implemented in any language that includes a SOAP stack.
The Intel® Active Management Technology SDK Start Here Guide provides more comprehensive information about the Intel AMT SDK, including minimum system requirements, how to configure an Intel AMT client, and how to use the sample code. The most recent version of the SDK is freely available from the Intel® Active Management Technology Software Development Kit download page.
RDK Provides High-Level Intel AMT Solution Building Blocks
The Intel AMT RDK provides developers with the means to rapidly build simple, affordable Intel AMT console solutions. It does so by means of a set of Java*-based software building blocks that abstract implementation details away from developers, allowing them to implement the technology without delving into details of it implementation. Complete source code is provided along with the building blocks that allows developers to modify them to provide more complex custom functionality. The RDK also includes a simple GUI-based utility application for exploring Intel AMT capabilities in network platforms.
The RDK consists of three separately downloadable packages that each provide a distinct set of inter-related capabilities to developers.
- The RDK Utility Application Package lets developers rapidly begin working hands-on with Intel AMT platforms to remotely gather hardware information and perform administration functions.
- The RDK Building Blocks Package provides Java binaries that perform various Intel AMT tasks and documentation to guide developers in using them to rapidly implement management functionality in their applications.
- The RDK Sources Package includes the Java source code and associated build scripts for the building blocks. Developers can use this source code to customize the building blocks or to port them to other languages.
The Intel® AMT Reference Design Kit Technical Overview gives more comprehensive descriptions of all three download packages, as well as demonstrating how the three can work together and separately within a development organization. The most recent version of each of the three RDK download packages is available from the Intel® Active Management Technology Reference Design Kit download page.
SCS Connects Intel AMT Devices into Enterprise Infrastructure
Intel AMT SCS provides the means for IT organizations to connect Intel AMT devices to the managed enterprise. Software makers can readily im plement this functionality within their products using tools provided by Intel SCS to add value to their customers, thereby potentially gaining a competitive advantage for their products.
Core functionality of Intel SCS is provided by a Windows service that communicates with Intel AMT devices by means of a SOAP API to populate them with passwords and other credentials that enable them to communicate with management applications. It uses a SQL Server* database (which must be installed separately from Intel SCS) to store configuration data, stored procedures, and logs associated with system operations. A sample console application is also provided, including full source code that can be freely modified by software companies in their products. This console application provides developers both with a reference application for use in creating their own consoles or as a base application that they can use to add value-added features.
The Intel® AMT Setup and Configuration Service Technical Overview gives a comprehensive description of the architecture and functionality associated with Intel AMT SCS, including an overview of the options that exist for implementing it within an enterprise. The most recent version of Intel AMT SCS is available from the Intel® Active Management Technology Setup and Configuration Service download page.
Intel tools that are freely available to the developer community enable rapid adoption of support for Intel AMT in network-management applications. The Intel AMT SDK provides APIs and libraries that facilitate low-level programming tasks. The Intel AMT RDK includes software building blocks to abstract and simplify common programming tasks, as well as a reference console utility application. Intel AMT SCS enables software makers to easily provide their customers with the means to add Intel AMT devices to managed networks.
Extensive documentation is provided for all three of these tool sets as part of the downloadable packages. Together, these tools allow makers of network-management applications to incorporate support for Intel AMT into their products with a minimum of effort. By building in that support as Intel AMT hardware is deployed by IT organizations around the world, solution providers are positioned to benefit from the next generation of managed platforms.
The following material provides a point of departure for further study about Intel Active Management Technology and related platform capabilities of Intel® architecture:
- Intel Manageability Community is a core developer resource for manageability technologies from Intel. It provides tools, documentation, use cases, blogs, and user forums.
- Intel® AMT Technology provides in-depth information about the hardware and software features and capabilities that underlie Intel AMT.
- Intel AMT Technology Brief provides a concise overview of the technology from a business perspective, with a focus on features and benefits to IT organizations and software vendors.
- Intel® vPro™ technology provides built-in manageability, proactive security, and energy-efficient performance for the business PC.