Understanding Intel vPro And How It Empowers Remote Work
For many businesses today, work from home remains the standard work model primarily due to the ongoing pandemic situation. However, as the push to bring back in-office operations continues to rise, companies worldwide are now looking into developing a more hybrid working arrangement that splits employees into working in an office and home environment.
Achieving this comes with a challenge: supporting workers with device infrastructure and a robust connection. According to a PWC research on remote work productivity, almost half of CFOs regard insufficient remote work capabilities as constraining to overcoming this obstacle. Intel vPro serves to help address this issue and enable organisations to maximise the long term potential of their remote work endeavours.
What is Intel vPro?
The vPro brand was officially launched back in 2007 and touted as a solution for remote IT management and support for enterprise use. Today, its latest version, part of Intel’s latest 12th gen CPUs, has received many changes and improvements. The vPro technology is a platform of firmware and hardware found in various types of devices, such as thin-and-light business laptops and mobile workstations. Specifically, vPro hardware is contained within a device’s Central Processing Unit (CPU), its chipset, or both and in its network connectivity chips.
A few of the most notable advantages of the vPro platform include:
- Improved stability via IT-managed system changes
- Improved security through features like discrete Trusted Platform Module (dTPM) and Intel Authenticate
- Better performance with modern ports like Thunderbolt 3 and 4 and networking hardware, such as Wi-Fi 6.
Moreover, vPro is especially beneficial for IT departments since it allows for a highly efficient way to update, monitor, and troubleshoot their organisation’s PCs without being physically present or physically dealing with hardware.
How Does vPro Work, And What Is It Used For?
IT departments use the Intel vPro platform to manage vPro devices via pre-existing console client software, the most commonly used being Microsoft’s System Center Configuration Manager (SCCM). The main use for vPro today is to manage, diagnose, and update devices remotely, which is critical for today’s remote working world.
This modernised management capability is largely thanks to Intel® Active Management Technology (Intel® AMT), a key part of the vPro feature set, which allows IT departments to perform Out-of-Band management, i.e. remotely interact with PCs anytime and anywhere, as long as they have an internet connection. Intel AMT works by using a small secondary CPU on the motherboard that allows IT to connect to the device running AMT using various tools.
They can then access these devices, run diagnostics, push updates, and perform all kinds of troubleshooting to resolve technical issues. Intel AMT also supports keyboard-video-mouse (KVM) control and grants IT full visibility and access to the organisation’s devices.
Intel vPro Pre-requisites
Intel vPro requires a few essential components to work to its full potential, and these are:
- an Intel vPro-enabled CPU;
- an Intel networking card;
- the corporate version of the Intel Management Engine (Intel ME) binary.
Intel AMT, the cornerstone mechanism of vPro’s powerful mobile device management (MDM) system, runs as part of the Intel ME. Intel ME is essentially a small computer subsystem with a parallel operating system that runs on that isolated CPU mentioned above and with access to a device’s hardware. In other words, Intel AMT runs on the ME but is only accessible on processors with vPro.
Do note that while most Intel desktops, workstations, and servers have AMT, not all Intel-branded motherboards and computers do. As such, you can reference the Intel spec sheet to verify whether or not a particular system has AMT.
How Intel vPro Benefits Remote Work Operations
Intel vPro features Intel Hardware Shield, the industry’s first silicon-enabled AI threat detection tool. It defends against today’s emerging threats through ‘below the OS’ protection, significantly reducing the risk of being compromised. In addition, whenever software is running, Intel Hardware Shield locks down essential input/output system memory to deter malware attacks and guarantee systems reliably boot in a trusted state.
Service disruptions and unscheduled downtimes lead to significantly reduced employee productivity. As device landscapes increasingly become more complex, the risk of such disruptions increases. However, with Intel AMT, it is now possible to diminish these downtimes via scheduled maintenance and on-demand management for every device.
For the most part, IT teams do not have much time to resolve device issues. Moreover, with most employees working from home, these teams need a solution that makes it convenient to carry out diagnosis procedures and provide resolution. With vPro’s AMT and Intel® Endpoint Management Assistant solutions, streamlining asset reliability is made easy through cloud-ready, out-of-band management. With technologies like KVM remote access, power control, Intel Remote Secure Erase, and Intel vPro, IT teams now have the tools to help the organisation’s staff with their tech issues wherever and whenever they may occur.
Remote work is now a fundamental work model for many businesses worldwide. Thus, business owners must look for the best way to support their remote workforce, starting with simplifying device management. PCs and other devices powered by the vPro platform make this possible. They offer the speed, power, flexibility, and connectivity ready to handle current business demands and as it evolves down the line.If your business needs modernised remote management and the vPro-enabled hardware necessary for it, JKTech is here to help. We provide IT equipment leasing and IT maintenance services in Singapore for all your business hardware needs. We also offer other IT solutions like outsourced IT support services in Singapore. Don’t hesitate to reach out to us today to learn more about our services!