New AMD DASH Tools Diagnose PCs Remotely

Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) is set to release open source interoperability testing and development tools to help vendors build solutions for DASH, or Desktop and Mobile Architecture for System Hardware, a new Web service-based desktop and mobile PC management standard.

The DASH initiative is geared toward enabling IT managers to remotely diagnose and patch up malfunctioning PCs, even if the machines are turned off or unable to boot up.

Direct Access

The increase in flexibility for vendors is expected to help lower overall total cost of ownership and allow IT managers to effectively respond to business needs.

“Management interoperability directly addresses the costs and complexity of IT management by providing a common way for systems to access and exchange management information across the entire IT infrastructure,” said Ben Williams, vice president, Commercial Strategy and Solutions at AMD.

Simplifying Networks

The chipmaker says the idea behind DASH is to simplify an organization’s network management by incorporating hardware and software components of a network while ensuring they are compliant with current standards.

AMD management interoperability is a core concern for end users, and DASH aims to share with their vendors through open standards.

“Part of what is driving this is reducing overall costs, and IT departments are under huge pressure to reduce costs and increase uptimes,” Rob Enderle, principal analyst with the Enderle Group, told LinuxInsider.

The new tools from AMD, called SIMFIRE, are immediately available for vendors.

Vendor Testing

By enabling vendors to test their management applications and system implementations for DASH standards, the SIMFIRE tools will help facilitate the availability of interoperable desktop and notebook computers from multiple vendors. It is designed to allow existing IT infrastructures to seamlessly manage hardware assets.

“AMD is positioning itself against Intel’s initiatives,” said Enderle. “Except AMD is differentiating itself by putting together its service through a consortium.”

SIMFIRE is expected to help AMD keep pace with rival Intel, which offers its vPro platform, a bundle of hardware and software that allows PC vendors to build computers that can automatically handle many IT management and security tasks.

Intel’s vPro also adds embedded security and virtualization to its bundle of Core 2 Duo processors, firmware and chipsets.

Standardization Effort

The tools are important to IT managers because the new standard will allow them to manage a diverse collection of corporate computing gear even if desktops and notebooks are made by various vendors, according to Enderle.

“This is probably the single biggest effort to turn the PC into something that can be managed like an appliance,” said Enderle.

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