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Environment Assessment Report for Intel vPro Technology, Part 1

Created: 12 Apr 2011 • Updated: 25 Apr 2011 | 4 comments
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Terry Cutler's picture
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Introduction

Whether you are preparing to configure Intel vPro Technology or are looking to actively utilize the technology, a single environment assessment report may proof helpful.    The report combines multiple data points to effectively summarize what systems have the technology, the OEM and model, operating system, BIOS version, Intel AMT firmware version, Intel Management Engine Interface (MEI) driver version, and and Intel AMT provision state.   The report captures information from the local client perspective, since discrepancies or incorrect data may show within the Out-of-band Configuration Service settings.

This article will focus on what can be natively obtained within an Altiris 7.1 environment.   A subsequent article will highlight additional items obtained via a custom data class and inventory.

Report query

Before running the report query, ensure that OOB Discovery and Full Inventory have been enabled and executed on the client.   The report query is relatively simple with an example output shown below:

SELECT
  AeXID.[FQDN],
  AeXID.[System Type],
  AeXID.[OS Name],
  vHWSys.[Manufacturer],
  vHWSys.[Model],
  ZTC.[BIOS Version],
  cap.[AMT Version],
  cap.[Intel(R) ME Interface],
  cap.[Provision State]

FROM
  (((Inv_OOB_Capability cap left join Inv_AeX_AC_Identification AeXID ON cap._ResourceGUID = AexID._ResourceGUID) left join vHWComputerSystem vHWSys ON cap._ResourceGUID = vHWSys._ResourceGUID) left join Inv_OOB_ZTC_State ZTC ON cap._ResourceGUID = ZTC._ResourceGUID)

WHERE cap.[AMT Version] > '1'

ORDER BY cap.[AMT Version]

In the above example, some datapoints are missing due to Full Inventory not completing on those clients.   In addition, the example query is just that – an example.   Customize to your respective environment, preference, and expertise.

The core point to be made here – a single report shows the main data points for an environment assessment of Intel vPro Technology utilizing natively available data within the Altiris 7.1 framework.

Interpreting and applying the data

The “Group by” option within the report window allows you to select a specific category.   In the example below, the “AMT version” was selected to create individual groups based on specific Intel AMT versions.    This may help in organizing and interpreting the information.

In general, the latest firmware and driver versions are recommended for Intel AMT.   This is especially true for earlier generations of the technology.   The report data will help to highlight what is presently in your environment, a tool from Intel will help in organizing and delivering the updates.   Take a look at http://communities.intel.com/docs/DOC-4078.   The Automatic Firmware Update tool does require some customization for the environment to an XML file.    The tool and XML file provides insights how to perform a silent scripted install and update across the generations of the technology while using specific OEM packages.   The result is a network file repository with the update files and a software delivery package to the target systems with the Automatic Firmware Update tool with customized XML file.

In addition to firmware and driver updates, the inventory report shown above highlights the present configuration state of the target system.   If the Out-of-Band Configuration Service settings were not used or if the reported state from the database may be incorrect, the data captured directly from the client helps to understand the true configuration state.

The last Out-of-Band Discovery or Configuration event on the client will update the associated inventory records.    Additional points of interest could include the last reported IP address of Intel AMT, enabled interfaces, and so forth.   In general, these additional data points require the technology to be in a configured state whereas the natively available data may be stale or incorrect.  

Part 2 of this article series highlights a custom data and inventory approach to collecting data on-demand from the target client’s perspective.

The opinions expressed on this site are mine alone and do not necessarily reflect the opinions or strategies of Intel Corporation or its worldwide subsidiaries

Continue on to Part 2

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Pascal KOTTE's picture

nice article :)

~Pascal @ Kotte.net~ Do you speak French? Et utilisez Altiris: venez nous rejoindre sur le GUASF

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Terry Cutler's picture

If there are specific requests for additional content or insights, please let me know.

The opinions expressed on this site are mine alone and do not necessarily reflect the opinions or strategies of Intel Corporation or its worldwide subsidiaries

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Terry Cutler's picture

For the above report to work correctly, OOB Discovery must be enabled.  

The opinions expressed on this site are mine alone and do not necessarily reflect the opinions or strategies of Intel Corporation or its worldwide subsidiaries

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Terry Cutler's picture

Some have raised the question - "Why not use the built-in OOB report under Remote Management?"

An example is shown below

For an initial report, this works just fine.   Plus, there are other insightful reports and a foundation to build your own.   The key difference from what I showed in the article above is knowing the OEM\model, BIOS version, and so forth.   This additional data is helpful if you need to identify systems needing firmware updates.    In addition, the 2nd and 3rd parts of this article series provide further custom data and report insights which can be obtained.

The opinions expressed on this site are mine alone and do not necessarily reflect the opinions or strategies of Intel Corporation or its worldwide subsidiaries

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