Between Intel AMT and ASF, part 4

Hello all.

In the previous three posts of this series (1, 2, 3), we talked about differences between the manageability two solutions, covering from the kind of network protocol used to the options available for security.

This will be (for now) the last post about distinctions between them, and in the next one I'll focus on the new features Intel AMT has that are not present in ASF.
That said, please let me know if there is any other difference you can remember and there will be another post to address it.

So here it goes: Other differences between ASF and Intel AMT are the way the two are configured, and also the options of sensors used:

Part Four: Other differences

  1. Configuration (Provision) vs. One-Good-Boot

    • Intel AMT has a (somewhat complex, but versatile) configuration procedure (also called provisioning). It has options for configuring the technology locally or remote, and options for supporting a one-touch (or even no touch at all) configuration. It even comes in two (one simpler and one complex) flavors: Small Business mode and Enterprise mode. Gael has a post explaining the configurations tool, and you can learn about the configuration types in this post by Ylian. For information on the Remote (zero touch) configuration, you can read this article by Itai.

    • This configuration is done in a completely OS-independent manner. OS can be loaded or not, the computer can even be turned off. It can be re-done and changed at any time -- all in an OOB manner.

    • ASF, on the other hand, has to be configured by software in the host's OS.
      ASF Standard says "the client system requires one good boot to an OS-present environment to allow the device’s configuration software to run and store system-specific information into the device’s non-volatile storage". This limits the way ASF can be set up and configured -- and is actually counted in the "Known Limitations" section of the DMTF's ASF Standard!

  2. Sensors: ASF Sensors vs. Legacy Sensors

    • Sensors are used in our (yours :)) platforms in order to send special alerts about different aspects of the system. Equipment (such as memory or processor) problems or temperature changes trigger an alert that is sent to the IT Manager (for example).

    • The sensors used regularly are normally called "Legacy Sensors", and their support is present in both ASF and Intel AMT.

    • But ASF has also support for more advanced sensors, called "ASF Sensors" (which are an improved system, but I think they're no much used in the market). These sensors have many advantages, like a wider range of values to give alerts for, and a smarter way of defining the alerts to send (the sensor itself is responsible for the whole content of the alert).

    • Intel AMT supports only the regular sensors. So here is one advantage for ASF... as long as you have to use ASF Sensors.

Next time, we'll have a summary of the features present only in Intel AMT.
See you soon!

Posts in the series:
- ASF and Intel AMT - Spot the differences (part 1)
- ASF vs. Intel AMT part 2 - Technology differences
- More technology distinctions - Intel AMT vs. ASF, part 3
- Between Intel AMT and ASF, part 4
- Feature Advantages - Intel AMT and ASF part 5
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