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By John G. Spooner  |  Posted 2006-08-09 Print this article Print

In addition to basic tasks such as tracking desktops hardware configurations, vPro will be able to offer more advanced services, including remote boot, troubleshooting and repair capabilities. PCs based on the platform can also be set to alert IT staffs when critical software, such as anti-virus applications, are turned off or removed. A feature dubbed Circuit Breaker can remove a PC from a computer network if a malware threat is detected. But Intel will also offer even more advanced features via a new strategy that seeks to build software-based appliances directly into PCs. >
That strategy, which will address security and management at first, will take advantage of virtualization—technology that can partition a PC to run different types of software simultaneously—thats built into the vPro platform. It will use the technologies to create virtual partitions on PCs, which can house specialized security and management software.
Intel will supply software that allows PC makers to create virtual partitions, which can house security or management applications. When used for security, the approach can set up a checkpoint between the network and the machines operating system and data. A security application can guard the PC by monitoring network traffic into the machine. It can be made to intervene if a malware attack is sensed. It can also work to automatically update virus definitions. Intel tapped Symantec as its first vPro security partner. Symantec has said it will offer a security agent that will reside in the partition, which it says is both more proactive—it will include behavior analysis designed to root out zero-day attacks—and quicker to deploy signatures. Check out eWEEK.coms for the latest news in desktop and notebook computing.

John G. Spooner John G. Spooner, a senior writer for eWeek, chronicles the PC industry, in addition to covering semiconductors and, on occasion, automotive technology. Prior to joining eWeek in 2005, Mr. Spooner spent more than four years as a staff writer for CNET, where he covered computer hardware. He has also worked as a staff writer for ZDNET News.

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