On Monday, Intel launched the third generation of its vPro remote management technology. Originally code-named "McCreary," the new platform boasts several new features integrating technologies from Core 2 Duo and Core 2 Quad processors, the Q45 Express chipset and Intel’s 82567LM Gigabit Ethernet interface. The semiconductor giant’s Active Management Technology 5.0 is a key part of vPro.
Active Management Technology 5.0 brings several enhancements to vPro. Firstly, the new Remote Alert feature allows a computer which falls outside of what Intel calls "preset parameters" to "call" the IT department for assistance. The PC doesn’t even need to be turned on in order for this to happen. The advantage here is that a business doesn’t need to have as many IT staff on-site ensuring all computers are functioning correctly, cutting costs without cutting corners.
The Remote Scheduled Maintenance feature allows IT administrators to program computers for regular tune-ups which will ensure the PC or laptop "automatically [connects] to an IT management program for maintenance." Fast Call for Help requires a user to enter a key combination which will provide a user with immediate out-of-band assistance even if the PC they are using has a corrupted OS or dead hard drive. Remote PC Assist Technology allows service providers for small businesses to remotely connect to a business PC when a key sequence is entered and utilize the security and management features of vPro to find a solution to the problem.
Monday also saw the launch of two new motherboards from Intel which have full support for the new vPro features, both following the rather unattractive naming style that Intel has used for years. For the desktop arena Intel introduced the DQ45CB, while the DQ45EK fills the gap in the small form factor market.