Who should be writing the software to enable Intel AMT

Unlike other technologies that we produce here at Intel, AMT requires a complex ecosystem for it to provide full value to IT shops. One of the questions we keep coming up against is who should be building what in that ecosystem. We are looking to supply a platform with the belife that everybody up and down the food chain will benefit. Hardware manufactures a.k.a. OEM's (HP, Dell, etc.) Manageability software providers a.k.a ISV's (Altiris, LANDesk etc.) and of course corporate IT shops should benefit. The tricky part it this equation seems to be ISV's. Without good software support early in the game IT shops will not be able to capitalize on their investment in vPro. ISV's on the other hand will probably only start seeing significant sales value from Intel AMT when it is widely deployed. One solution would be to provide the Software ourselves, but this would put us in a new business that we don't want to get in to, especially as we would be competing with the ISV's that we would like to benefit from AMT. Instead we have been working hard to bridge the gap, getting ISV's on-board early and working closely with them to help them add AMT support to their products. The problem starts when the whole picture doesn't come together from ISV's. This was most evident with the need for Setup and Configuration. With out a Setup and Config. element to ISV app's they would not be able to turn on Intel AMT. Yet this was relatively complex and seems to have little added value in itself for ISV's. Thus we provide the Setup and Config Service that ISV's can easily integrate in to their application.

Is this the right mix? Not everybody agrees we should be providing the Setup and Config Service as a fully developed and supported offering. They believe we should leave this to ISV only be delivering sample code as we do in the SDK. Others say we should be doing more. My personal opinion is that we should be doing a little more. Actively seeking out the cracks that ISV's aren't likely to fill and build solid solutions to fill them ourselves.

Do you see gaps that you would like to see filled? Do you think this should fall to ISV's or to Intel?

[Update]

Many years later and this is still somewhat an open topic.  AMT is widely deployed and in use.  The setup and config service (SCS) remains an Intel product other components come from the echo system. I think we made the right choices.  Do you?

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anonymous's picture

I have a lab of 20 identical Dell 755 systems (all the way down to the image that I load on them).
18 of them load just fine. 2 of them chronically come up with the AMT disabled 'error'/status.
I have checked the CMOS settings to make sure everything is set up properly.
AMT is enabled to the best of my knowledge on all 20 systems. This one, even with a new motherboard installed, still wants to come up and say that the AMT is disabled.
This is annoying at best...

anonymous's picture

There are password requirements for this, 8 digits, one upper case, one number and one symbol.

it works.

anonymous's picture

@ Cameron. I want to start by thanking you for your comments & I also want to thank the folks prior on this thread for bringing up the fact that the link our pop up goes to a site that really doesn't give you the base links to learn more about Intel vPro Technology. I mentioned yesterday 2/19 that I was meeting with the right folks and they have made a very rapid change to address this earlier today & it just went live. http://www.intel.com/technology/vpro/index.htm Here's the page you will go to now & it has a prominent link area 'get help from the pros'. This was all based on this threads feedback. we're listening..

if any questions please let me know.

Josh H

anonymous's picture

@ Cameron

In regards to your comment on the vpro page on intel.com. the message is heard and I AGREE, I'm working with the marketing & tech team to fix this so that the site is better. stay tuned..

anonymous's picture

Hi all,

Let me jump in on a few areas. For the ICON in the system tray w/ the X you can disable this via http://communities.intel.com/docs/DOC-1247#BP1. Therefore either during the system startup or you can create a custom job to run that changes this registry entry. Therefore your users will not have to see this icon & cause unncecessary service/help desk calls.

I think the real question is what does vPro & Active Management Technology really do that helps you out as you deploy new systems. Check out this new training site we just launched http://vprotraining.intel.com. While it's a little bit of feature vs. technology, it does provide a lot of the key reasons why Intel vPro Technology is a big deal for the IT Sys admin.

I would definitely like to hear more of your thoughts and questions. You can blog me back here or go to my community site for End Users @ www.intel.com/go/vproexpert & start a discussion.

Josh H
http://communities.intel.com/people/josh.hilliker

JOSEPH E.'s picture

Sorry to hear about the issues you are having. I should start by saying that the right place to go for support on this is the vPro Expert Center at: http://www.intel.com/go/vproexpert/
Dell also has extensive documentation at:
http://support.dell.com/support/edocs/systems/op755/EN/AMT/index.htm

However I do have a few comments.
Lets set the background here. AMT is actually an embedded device in your vPro machine that enables a system administrator to manage and protect the system via a remote management console. The icon you are seeing with a red X is designed to protect end users privacy, letting her know that AMT exists on the machine and is enabled/disabled. When the X is there all that means is that AMT is disabled there is nothing to fix. If AMT were enabled remotely though the secure remote provisioning options available this would change the state of the machine and the only way the user has to know about this is this icon. Which is why it is there.

If you have already bought AMT machines why not reap the benefit of AMT by enabling it? At the simplest level you can enable AMT in small business mode and use the web GUI that is built in to manage the system. See the systems documentation for details.

If you want a robust and fully secure solution you will need to use one of the many management consoles that are out there and to you will also need to setup infrastructure for this. How to go about this is a topic for another time.

As for blue screens I would recommend you contact Dell support about these. This should not be happening.

anonymous's picture

I am having similar issues to Arnold. Two months ago he posted up and pointed out that there was an information vacum about AMT on your website. The link from the AMT appplet takes you to an advert for how wondeful AMT is but has no useful info on AMT and how to configure/use it. I took a while to realise that you want us to purchase the managment consloe. The website has a DEMO link to a video, that is NOT a DEMO, that is an ADVERT. You said on December the 19th that you where going to see about updating the info on the website, please can you do this, and as Arnold suggests perhaps have an FAQ on this page with a few simple points to teach system admins.

We are also buying Dell 755's, why is it installed on all these new machines as standard. If it is only useful if you have purchaced the product then it should not be preinstalled, you should install it when you buy it.

Also as an administrator it is annoying when messages say speak to your system administrator, especially when the admin hasn't been taught what the hell the product is, how it works or what it does.

I now have to spend extra time unistalling or disabling AMT on all new machines, and this should not be neccassary. I am alos experiencing issues with the 755's, blue screens of death. As I have loads of 745's that don't have AMT and don't have problems, how can I not suspect that AMT is something to do wioth the issues. Especially when running Dell diagnostics say the system is 100% ok and Dell claim that they don't have any major issues with there hardware.

anonymous's picture

Hi Joey,
I'm in the same situation as Arnold. We're starting to get the newest Dell Optiplex 755 systems here as well. As soon as we get the system we image them to ensure a uniform setup is installed around campus (WinXP). We then install necessary drivers. The "Yellow Bangs" in the device manager that refer to PCI devices require the Intel AMT drivers, but once installed the tray icon says AMT is disabled. The link you provided is exactly the same page that this alert message points me to, but this page is pretty much just an advertisement for Intel AMT. Nowhere, that I can see, does this page explain how to enable AMT or troubleshoot the "Status- Disabled" alert. Perhaps the link within the alert message should point to a knowledge base of sorts. Just my 2cents.

anonymous's picture

Hi there, I'm no systems admin or anything like that...all I need to know is how to enable AMT!

I recently bought a HP 8510p business laptop and this "error" has been with me since day 1! The URL points me to http://www.intel.com/technology/vpro/index.htm and it really doesn't help or teach me how to enable AMT, or even to make this "error" go away as well as the tray icon with the big red X.

Please help! Thanks...

JOSEPH E.'s picture

Hi Arnold,
Thank you for your feedback it's nice to hear for a real end user.
I will try to address your issues but I should also mention you can contact official customer support at vPro Expert Center (http://www.intel.com/go/vproexpert/)
Issue #1. I'm guessing your are referring to what we call Yellow Bangs in the device manger. This is really an OS setup issue. If the hardware is there the OS expects to find drivers for it. If they haven't been installed it will complain. These should have been installed as part of the standard install that Del provided. Was this not the case?

Issue #2: First I should point out that AMT being disabled is a status message not an error. AMT can be turned on remotely so the Icon would indicate to your users that this is happened. This is a requirement from our privacy experts BTW.
I do agree 100% that this and more should be explained via the URL in the dialog. This URL is OEM customizable. I don't know if Del changed the default. What are you seeing, is it: www.intel.com/vpro? Please let me know and we will work to fix this.

Issue #3 the password must be a strong password. I believe there is a discussion on this elsewhere on the blog. But if you try "Arnold!123" that should work (but don't leave that password as every hacker in the world now has it :))
Again this should be clearer and we will work to improve this.

Do keep in mind that enabling AMT in itself will not bring you real value. You need a management console that supports AMT. Once your environment is setup to take advantage of AMT you can reap the real value.

I would love to hear more about your AMT experiences.
Cheers
Joey

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