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Part 3 - Using Out-of-Band Events and Alerts with Intel vPro Technology

Created: 22 Feb 2011 • Updated: 28 Feb 2011
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In the third part of the series, an automated response to a user generated alert is shown.   The demonstration is a proof of concept showing a user self-service approach to recovering a failed or corrupted system to the last full backup.

This is a proof of concept only to show what is possible in bringing together a number of components.   Further customizations may be needed for a production environment to further automate the solution. 

The following image summarizes the prerequisites and steps shown in the demonstration video.  (click to open original image)

Components outside of the base Symantec solution tool set and Intel vPro Technology include the following:

  • Customized Symantec System Recovery Disk ISO image – The core ISO image optimizations are similar to steps described at Optimizing SERT for Intel vPro Technology. Key differences include use of the Custom SRD wizard provided with Symantec System Recovery and removing unnecessary drivers.   The 2-stage boot redirection utility found at http://communities.intel.com/docs/DOC-5552greatly improves the response time to regular boot redirection.
  • Enabling of Intranet Fast-Call-for-Help – Starting with Intel AMT 4.x platforms in the 2008 timeframe, a capability was introduced to Intel vPro Technology for a local user or process on the target computer to initiate a request for assistance.   The request would be sent to a defined address as configured in the firmware.   The Altiris Out-of-Band Management solution in connection with CheckPoint software can configure this Intel AMT feature for clients outside of the corporate environment (i.e. Internet address and usage).   For intranet usage, a custom script or tool must be used as defined by the Intel AMT SDK to enable the AMT Notification alert subscription.   An end-user example of this script will be posted in the coming months.

Further customizations of the Symantec Recovery Disk, using a base WinPE bootable ISO, could be made to automatically map the desired network drives, request user login credentials for file access permissions, and so forth.   In addition, the process could be integrated into a Workflow process to further integrate into the target production environment.

In connection with the examples shown for out-of-band alerts and events, take a look back at a previous article posted on Integrating Intel vPro into a HelpDesk Environment.   Much of the framework in that article is available natively within the Symantec Management Platform. 

I am very interested to hear your ideas for integrating these features and components into a daily process.   In fact – the offer for Bonus Points on Symantec Connect is still available (see Get Bonus Points: Intel and Symantec Solution Implementations.)

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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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