Intel vPro: Three Generations Of Remote Management

Intel Core 2 Duo E8500 And DQ45CB: The Wolfdale Generation

The Core microarchitecture was a real turning point for Intel, which eventually allowed the company to aggressively push clock speeds on a 45 nm process, providing great performance and solid power-saving features. The Wolfdale-based Core 2 Duo E8500 is a 65 W part running at 3.16 GHz.

One big difference between the Core 2 E8500 we're testing and the Clarkdale and Sandy Bridge designs is a lack of on-package or on-die graphics, which enables remote KVM support on those latter two processor families. Instead, Core 2 Duo depended on a graphics engine built into the Q45 core logic.

Along with its Core 2 Duo, Intel sent us a DQ45CB motherboard to use in our comparison. In its day, the Q45 board utilized an Intel Graphics Media Accelerator 4500, enabling both VGA and DVI outputs that could be used simultaneously across dual independent displays. Audio was provided by a 5.1-channel codec, which was more than most business users needed anyway. The relatively large northbridge heatsink was needed, since that component hosted graphics and memory control duties, dissipating as much as 17 W on its own.

Some of the board's limitations are starting to become obvious. First, expansion is provided by one PCI, two PCIe x1 and one PCIe x16 slot. Many business systems do not utilize add-in cards at all, so this isn't that big of an issue. However, it could be detrimental if you're building engineering workstations that require more discrete hardware. Second, you can only install up to 8 GB of DDR2 memory. With Windows 7, 64-bit operating systems are much more popular, and 4 GB is now the absolute minimum most businesses use for solid multi-tasking performance. Power users working with Excel, Access, and PowerPoint likely want more than 4 GB of RAM.

The DQ45CB comes standard supporting Intel AMT 5.2, which does not support Intel's KVM Remote Control functionality. When Intel moved the GPU on-package and then on-die in subsequent generations, it was able to tie in KVM-over-IP as well. Later in this piece, we will look at KVM Remote Control in more depth.

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21 comments
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  • cngledad
    Can I suggest an article comparing different remote access tools we can use? From the freeware TeamViewer, VNC Viewer to such things like WebEx? I think that would be a very good topic.
    7
  • Anonymous
    ^^Don't forget Logmein Rescue which has vPro support.
    3
  • pro-gamer
    intel man please give me a job.
    Intels rock
    -4
  • NirXY
    Glad to see you made it to publish day, was waiting for this piece.
    Looking great !
    0
  • Anonymous
    One correction: DQ57TM *does* contain a v1.2 TPM, the same as found on DQ67SW and DQ67EP. It's required to be vPro compliant (necessary for Intel TXT).
    0
  • jhansonxi
    Nifty but I don't like the single-vendor lock-in. I can see real improvements in IT efficiency if this was combined with AoE. Would like to see SSH support, however.
    0
  • extremepcs
    Hopefully they have improved the activation mechanism. Kind of a PITA if you don't buy a certificate from a trusted CA. I used an internal cert and had to activate each machine by booting from a flash drive.
    1
  • chovav
    If my hard drive is encrypted using TrueCrypt pre-boot authentication, would I be able to fill in the password using Intels vPro?
    1
  • jowunger
    The voice of the guy in the video is bad. The guy talks like he is speedreading a book...
    0
  • cangelini
    cdw-vproOne correction: DQ57TM *does* contain a v1.2 TPM, the same as found on DQ67SW and DQ67EP. It's required to be vPro compliant (necessary for Intel TXT).


    Fixed, thanks!
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  • chovav
    Chris can you answer my question?
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  • pjkenned
    chovavIf my hard drive is encrypted using TrueCrypt pre-boot authentication, would I be able to fill in the password using Intels vPro?


    Generally you don't want to do this. Pre-boot authentication on encrypted drives is a security measure so that someone gaining access to a shut-down PC cannot cold boot onto the contents of the disk. For example, one shuts down a notebook that is subsequently stolen in an airport.

    In that scenario (actually fairly common) the user that now has the notebook can boot to the contents of the disk if a password was pre-filled.
    0
  • kevikom
    HP insight manager is better. Weird thing is I found out about it from a whitepaper on Dells site. I thought HP and Dell hated each other?? but we use it for PCs, servers, and it has a plugin for Vmware.... AND IT IS FREE.
    0
  • dj christian
    pjkennedFor example, one shuts down a notebook that is subsequently stolen in an airport. In that scenario (actually fairly common) the user that now has the notebook can boot to the contents of the disk if a password was pre-filled.


    So you saying that's a bad idea for the owner that he typed the pre-filled the password using vPro?
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  • Anonymous
    Hi, does anybody know if Intel Dq67sw motherboard Support 8Gb ddr3 Single Modules . Because Intel Technical product specification states " Support for 32GB of System Memory with four DIMMS using 4GB memory technology ".

    Are there any other Intel boards which support vPro ( VT-X , VT-D ) with 32GB for i7 2nd Generation.

    As i want to build one myself for VM.
    0
  • omerl
    pjkennedGenerally you don't want to do this. Pre-boot authentication on encrypted drives is a security measure so that someone gaining access to a shut-down PC cannot cold boot onto the contents of the disk. For example, one shuts down a notebook that is subsequently stolen in an airport. In that scenario (actually fairly common) the user that now has the notebook can boot to the contents of the disk if a password was pre-filled.

    dj christianSo you saying that's a bad idea for the owner that he typed the pre-filled the password using vPro?


    Chovav, pjkenned and dj christian - yes, you can use Intel vPro AMT to fill the Pre-Boot Authentication. You can do this either with AMT KVM (which is the simple way, but requires AMT 6 and above) or with AMT SOL (assuming TrueCrypt allows SOL.
    pjkenned - there are several scenarios which it would makes much sense to send the password for PBA remotely: 1. Support agent trying to recover a user's password. 2. Trying to boot to a computer you left in the office. The idea is not that the password is pre-filled, it is filled on real-time.
    It's actually can be a very powerful tool for the service-desk at your organization.
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  • omerl
    qwer5678So you saying that's a bad idea for the owner that he typed the pre-filled the password using vPro?

    I didn't really understand what you mean. If you utilize this feature correctly you can gain real value to your organization. Note my 2 suggestion of usage. If you have it kept in a DB or something similar, you must make sure this DB is encrypted and secured properly, since this is sensitive information, but you can still get it and send it to your computer using vPro encrypted over TLS/SSL channel.
    1
  • omerl
    okokpkpk - I'm saying DO NOT PRE-FILL THE PASSWORD. This is not what's vPro is all about.
    I'm saying, create a solution for your organization that allow real time password push to your clients, in case a password is forgotten. Passwords are stored securely inside the organization and are only used in case of password forgotten. Nothing else. Do no bypass the pre-boot authentication mechanism.
    0
  • masi87
    Why does noboy complain about the missing SSL for the logon page of the Web-Interface? (even thought not only logon but everything after that should also be encrypted to prevent cookie theft).
    0
  • michealPW
    I'm not sure what's more unsettling... The fact that this technology's being rolled out in so many mainstream Intel CPUs and Chipsets or the fact that I seem to be the only one that sees this as a major attack vector :|

    Good gawd what a frightening world we're marching into. Security and Privacy is becoming an unattainable dream.
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