Dell, AMD DASH Toward New Standards

The two companies are some of the first major vendors to offer software and hardware that will meet new standards set by the Distributed Management Task Force.

Dell is readying a new generation of its OptiPlex commercial desktops to meet new industry management standards.

The Round Rock, Texas, PC maker is scheduled to announce on March 27 that the next generation of its OptiPlex desktops will incorporate the new DASH (desktop and mobile architecture for systems management hardware) management and security standards.

The DASH initiative was announced on March 22 by the Distributed Management Task Force as a replacement for the older ASF (alert standard format).

While the older standards gave administrators the ability to boot and power up PCs with an enterprises fleet, the new standards look to take these management abilities a step further by adding extra security tools and new ways to check on the specific configurations of each desktop and notebook within a company.

The new standards will also use DMTFs WS-Management (Web services for management) specifications, which will create a Web-based services management tool for desktops and laptops.

Dell is not the only vendor looking to adopt DASH standards.

At the Microsoft Management Summit in San Diego on March 26, Advanced Micro Devices took time to announce that it has developed new software testing tools called "SIMFIRE." Company executives said these testing tools will allow OEMs to meet the news DASH standards.

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The new AMD tools will be open-source and royalty free. Some of the vendors expected to use SIMFIRE include Dell, Broadcom and Avocent.

In addition to developing desktops that meet the new standards, Dell is also set to introduce a new PC, the OptiPlex 745c, which will use Intels AMT (active management technology).

Intels AMT allows for remote management of PCs. This management tool can also be found in Intels vPro technology.

The new desktop will also include an Intel Core 2 Duo processor, 8GB of RAM, and a Serial ATA hard drive with up to 160GB of memory.

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Margaret Franco, the director of Dells Product Group, said the companys adoption of the new DASH standards will address the concerns of its customers and offer them additional management tools.

"We want to share more with the industry about our thinking and our strategy," Franco said. "We want to talk more about how this technology is going to benefit our customers and we want to show how this technology will be relevant to our customers."

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