AMD moves to embrace PC management tools

Following the expansion of its platform program to include offerings based on its new 690G chipset, AMD has moved to counter Intel's vPro business platform. AMD has released interoperability testing tools intended to speed up the adoption of the new Desktop and mobile Architecture for System Hardware (DASH) open standard.

The DASH initiative was unveiled last Thursday by the Distributed Management Task Force (DMTF), a Portland, Oregon-based standards group of which both Intel and AMD are members. According to the DMTF, DASH is based on its existing Web Services for Management spec and provides secure remote management for desktop and mobile client systems "independent of machine state, operating platform or vendor."

That sounds a lot like the Active Management Technology feature included in vPro systems, which allows administrators to manage systems regardless of their operating system or whether they're turned on or off. And that's no coincidence: in the DMTF's press release, Intel is quoted as saying, "Intel® vPro™ technology was originally designed to support a seamless transition to this new standard [DASH], and our 2007 product roadmap enables one of the industry's first DASH and WS-Management supported enterprise PCs through our next-generation Intel® vPro™ technology."

Nonetheless, AMD says it was a "major contributor" to the DASH specification and adds that it's releasing testing tools—code-named SIMFIRE—to vendors immediately in order to allow them to make compatible systems available more quickly. In fact, AMD says Broadcom is already showing off an AMD-based Dell OptiPlex 740 desktop system that can be managed via DASH at the ongoing Microsoft Management Summit.

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