I have spend the past year and a half working to get vPro to function correctly here on the enterprise. vPro (if working correctly) provides your LANDesk installation with some very significant tools. The ability to turn systems on and off in order to deploy software or patch at night is very nice. The ability to remote into a system (via KVM) and run an anti-virus rescue CDROM from your local system to the remote "victim" is a tasty little treat also. Certainly everyone can see the benefit of using vPro with LANDesk.
Intel vPro is one of those tools which is at the mercey of a little thing I like to call "fellowship"; that is to say, while Intel has defined the various versions and what they can do the OEMs have the capacity to stray from the true form if they sell boxes which do not meet the higher requirements. One example is how all systems which have the i5 and i7 cores can be "full vPro" systems (they have Intel chipset, video and NIC) so all of the features within vPro will work on them. If a system is sold with i3 core then the OEM may not provide any more than a few "AMT" solutions. THis may not be a big thing at first glance, but vPro tends to gravitate to the old "weakest link" concept wherein you really want all vPro equipped devices to have the same level of support or it becomes increasingly difficult to figure out what is happening and how to get it working with the systems you support.
Truly, I found this trek to be like a climb up the mountain to meet the wise philosopher. For every person that I spoke to about setting this up I found 4 or 5 others which said they had already spilled enough blood trying to make this work. All any of these poor souls could say was something akin to, "If you ever make it to Nirvana, please send a bus to pick us up..."
Back to the "fellowship" point. It seems that Intel, in providing this free to OEMs is not getting the support from vendors which would propel this potentially valuable solution to the place where it needs to be. Couple that with the OEMs not communicating all that is required to LANDesk support and then working to ensure that LANDesk can function with the fewest of steps to make vPro viable... well you get the idea. It appears that since there is no money in it for anyone then the solution is waiting for some Don Quixote, or some Joebaggadonuts to volunteer to collect all of the information from the various resources about the country and make this thing work.
Well, we have it working... In test and provisionally in production. I want to further compile my findings and get a real person to translate them from 1337 speak to Geek speak to English so we in the community can compare notes. I am convinced that once the data is looked upon by others we can put a guide together which will allow newcomers and those waitin on the Nirvana bus a means to get their vPro experience working.
Of late I had the blessing to attend a class that Intel hosted locally demonstrating their SCS (Setup Configuration Software) which they use to provision and unprovision vpro devices over the LAN/WAN. This solution is well documented (especially compared to what you usually get from vPro sources) and well conceived. It was easy to setup and used very little resources. The instructor, William York, was very knowledgeable and didn't look things up rather recalled them from memory on a time when he had resolved the question for himself. All in all very impressive as an option. I am hopng to take this solution and use it to address provisioning and changes to provisioning from this solution and then use LANDesk to reap the rewards of a fully configured vPro environment. More on this later - I only have this working on the test servers at this point. If this all works out we, in the community, may be able to make the titans dance with one another.
One can dream, I suppose.