It’s time to migrate to the Intel AMT SCS 7.0

As you probably have noticed, there are great posts about the Intel AMT SCS 7.0 (check this or this for example). This post is not about all new features, it’s just a look to the previous 5.X version to see the benefits of migrating.  The 7.0 version has been available for some time, but there are always environments where AMT systems (and AMT infrastructure) aren’t changed frequently. This is not just an AMT/SCS related issue, maybe some of you have seen Windows XP systems working around. Well, in my ecosystem there are still some AMT 3.2.1 systems with SCS 5.0 just like looks in the next picture.

Intel AMT SCS 5.X.
The SCS 5.0 version was very useful and it made its job but I can say now it was a bit difficult to install and configure. That  version was made of a windows and a web service, both of them needed a SQL Server. That approach was very practical for maintenance purposes but some customers complained about not supporting Oracle databases, some others about  the difficulty of the administrative console when logging against the IIS web site and so on.
I guess Intel has made a great job by removing the unnecessary complexity, which means that the database persistence was removed (and replaced by an easier XML-file based approach), that the windows service dependency was removed and the lack of default parameters was improved.
Maybe you’re thinking “and then what’s the SCS now?” or “doesn’t my previous experience work at all?”, but don’t worry, one of  the most important pieces of the SCS it’s still here: the profile wizard. In other versions, at the end of the day, one of the most important tasks was the creation of profiles because it defines the basic and advanced parameters for switching  new or unconfigured AMT systems into a “workable” status.

The profile Wizard most important features are reloaded on the AMT Configuration Utility (ACU,   previously known as the Activator) but without the burden of a complex infrastructure.  As the next partial diagram of the SCS components shows, the ACU has a Profile Designer which you’ll find familiar.

As the next two pictures show, the profile designer is the replacement of the AMT Profile Creator Wizard, all the previous functionality you used is still here but improved, for example you will find again the  Active Directory integration, the ACL  customization, the home domain definition, the remote access policies, the TLS definition, the WiFi settings and so on.

Intel ACU Profile Designer on SCS 7.0.

Intel AMT Profile Creator Wizard on SCS 5.X.
When I say the functionality was improved, it’s a serious statement because many core information flows were reorganized and  many usability aspects were taken into account, for example in previous versions it was necessary performing two clicks to complete a simple task like editing the advanced settings. In SCS 7.0 version, the information was correctly grouped  into one single page and placed as a last step in the wizard (given its advanced nature). In the new version there are also available features that did not exist before, like the Fast Call For Help feature, the KVM feature and so on.

Intel AMT Profile Creator Advanced Settings Page on SCS 5.X.

Intel ACU System Settings Page on SCS 7.0.
If during the release of new versions you did not realize the value of migrating, let me tell you that it’s time to upgrade  for many reasons, the first one it’s because the complex infrastructure is not required anymore, the second one it’s because all old AMT systems (since 2.1 and higher) are also supported, the third one because all new (and relative new)  features you have dismissed should be used now, the fourth is because it’s easier than ever performing any task and so on… I can continue counting reasons, but I would like to emphasize that new features and options introduced within AMT 7.0 systems are not supported by SCS 5.X (detailed information on the download page).
At this point I hope you’re convinced of the benefits of migrating to SCS 7.0, if it’s so, you are probably thinking that  starting from the ground it’s your only one option, but good news!, there is also included a migration utility. This utility lets you easily move your profiles, PSK keys and passwords by connecting to your SQL Database server and saving into XML files. As you can see in following picture you will know which profiles will be migrated.  Just remember that migration from SCS 6.X is not supported.

Migration Utility.

Finally, don’t forget checking this quick video about SCS 7.0 (showing a host based configuration scenario) and don’t hesitate  using the Discovery utility (for answering the all-time question: which systems support which features). Bye.

Javier Andrés Cáceres Alvis

Microsoft Windows Phone MVP

Intel Black Belt vPro/AMT

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