Intel vPro Tech Tightens Business Security

Everyone knows that managing hordes of Windows PCs is a daunting task, and leads to the sort of mental and physical breakdown loosely described as "IT person syndrome." Today, chipmaker Intel looked to lift a little bit of that burden—and convice bottom line-conscious firms to adopt its technology—by introducing its new vPro processor technology. In a nutshell, vPro is intended to make business PCs easier to manage, troubleshoot, and maintain by offering integrated security features and remote management capabilities that enable IT folks to diagnose, update, and repair systems without time-consuming (and costly) desk-side visits.

"Today, the business desktop PC just got more secure," said Intel Business Client Group VP and general manager Robert B. Crooke, in a statement. "This generation of Intel vPro processor technology arrives with new security and management capabilities along with support from every leading PC manufacturer and software solution vendor in the world."

Originally codenamed "Weybridge," vPro technology complies with the Distributed Management Task Force‘s DASH 1.0 spec, and offers the ability to wake and repair a computer which has a corrupted operating system or inoperable hard drive, and includes Intel’s TXT data protection technology that helps protect virtualized environments from attack by using hardware-based protection to isolate assigned memory. New System Defence Filters analyze and detect threats in network traffic, and a Cisco-certified embedded trust agent which enables Cisco IT users to manage systems even if they’re powered down or the OS isn’t functioning, without lowering the security of 802.1x network.

Intel is also promoting vPro in terms of energy efficiency, both by reducing overall power consumption across the chipsets but also by giving administrators the ability to power down systems and wake them securely when needed.

Of course, PC manufacturers will want to be quick to offer vPro systems to corporate and business clients, and the first out the gate looks to be Dell, announcing its vPro-equipped Optiplex 755 desktop systems, available today. Touted as the "most manageable, energy-efficient commercial desktop ever," Dell is even letting its customers get that eco-friendly feeling via a "Plant a Tree for Me" program, which channels donations to The Conservation Fund and Carbonfund.org. Pricing on the Optiplex 755 systems starts at $632.

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