Out-of-band cloud services
Washington, DC: January 18, 2013 – Safe Frontier announced today that it successfully completed initial development work of key elements of cloud infrastructure-as-a-service for Intel® Active Management Technology (Intel® AMT). This milestone brings Company closer to its goal of being the first provider of out-of-band cloud services.
Intel introduced in 2006 what’s currently known Intel® vPro™ technology. It is a chipset platform that comes with variety of Intel® processors, including recently announced fourth generation Intel® Core™ i7 processor. This platform offers advanced capabilities, including Intel® Active Management Technology (AMT). Intel® AMT is supported by brand-name PCs of almost all leading manufacturers. It is aimed at the professional PC market - specifically, enterprise and mid-size business segments. Small businesses version is also available but it is functionally limited. Safe Frontier estimates that over one million Intel® AMT enabled mobile and desktop computers are sold annually. This number is projected to grow as the technology matures and cost of chipset memory declines lowering the overall Intel® vPro™ prices. Today, many Intel desktop and laptop chipsets capable of supporting Intel® AMT. The major limiting factor is the cost of extra firmware memory required to embed Intel® AMT .
Intel is also promoting Active Management Technology for computing devices, such as Point of Sales Terminals, kiosks, vending, medical and military equipment. Intel® AMT bolsters security and remote management to the hardware level, independent of the operating system. However, the Active Management Technology has limitations. Importantly, Intel® AMT enabled devices cannot fully utilize the hardware capabilities when operating stand-alone over the Internet. It limits Intel® AMT use primarily to corporate networks. If this limitation is alleviated, Intel® AMT can potentially revolutionize the PC support and end-point security, bringing tremendous savings of IT management costs and powerful new security capabilities.
Intel® AMT & Key Features
Intel® Active Management Technology (AMT) is hardware/firmware based system built into a small secondary processor located on the motherboard. It works with network card, computer integrated video card, keyboard, Wi-Fi, and has access to other computer hardware and firmware. Intel® AMT also can leverage small independent data storage. It can interact with computer operating system through special software. Intel® AMT is intended for use with a management application located on the network. It helps system administrators to remotely manage and secure PCs out-of-band when PC power is off, the operating system is unavailable (hung, crashed, corrupted, missing), software management agents are missing, or hardware (such as a hard drive or memory) has failed. Intel® AMT hardware-based management works at a different level than software applications, uses a communication channel (through the TCP/IP stack) that is different from software-based communication (which is through the software stack in the operating system). Hardware-based management does not depend on the presence of an operating system (OS) or locally installed management agent.
Key features include:
KVM & Remote control. Generally used to provide administrator access to the BIOS screen of a remote PC, it can also be used to access a PC agent or control basic OS operation. It allows a network administrator to turn on/off, and reboot a PC remotely. This can also be used to set boot options, such as the boot drive and more.
Hardware inventory. Allows management software to enumerate the hardware components within a PC: processor, memory, storage, expansion cards and more. This is useful to keep track of hardware assets within a business.
IDE Redirect. One of the most powerful features of Intel® AMT, IDE Redirect allows an administrator to remotely “mount” a virtual CD ROM drive and cause the PC to boot from it. This can be used to fix OS problems or restore a PC to a clean state.
System defense. This feature allows an operator to monitor network traffic going to and from the managed PC and, if needed, throttle or drop unwanted packets on transmit, receive, or both.
Event log and alerts. Management software can read a log of recent hardware events that occurred including failures, reboots, intrusions, and more. Management software can also subscribe to be notified as soon as an event occurs.
Agent watchdog. Allows Intel® AMT to monitor the presence of software running in the OS and advise the administrator if software is no longer running. This feature can also be used to activate network security policies when conditions are met.
Intel, the Intel logo, Intel Core, Intel vPro are trademarks of Intel Corporation in the U.S. and/or other countries. Other names and brands may be claimed as the property of others.
Learn more about Intel® AMT: http://software.intel.com/en-us/articles/architecture-guide-intel-active-management-technology
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