Kaseya Community

vPro - is it worth it?

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Hi all,

We've been enabling vPro on our customers PCs for years now and still not even using it through Kaseya.  To someone who hasn't really spent much time investigating it, it just looks like a glorified way of turning a PC on, which we currently use a simple wake on LAN app to do.  

Ive reviewed the way we prepare systems for our customers before deploying them and we still manually go into the vPro BIOS and configure it.  Im thinking of cutting this out of our prep process as its a waste of time if we're not using vPro.

A few questions for anyone to respond...

- Do you use vPro, why and how

- If you use vPro, is there a scripted way to configure it rather than having to go into the BIOS.  All we setup is the mode and hostname

- If you have any scripts pertaining to vPro, would you be able to share?

Thanks in advance

Dave

All Replies
  • When they first came out with the vPro integration i did a lot of testing with it. I was never able to get it working.

    Before spending time make sure new management is still supporting it.

  • I have looked into vPro in Kaseya a few times and they have made some nice improvements with it over the last few years.

    Newer versions of vPro allow you to enable and configure vPro remotely via the agent as long as you have the Intel AMT Software and Driver package installed.

    I found that when machines are rebuilt a lot of techs don't install the Intel AMT Software and Driver package as they don't have a clue what it is and when you talk to them about it they don't care for it as all they want to do is what is necessary in the "now".

    There are some good vids on this with free tools from Intel to help you configure and use vPro.

    I have unfortunately not had a chance to use it in a real life situation yet as I tried and failed to convince the decision makers that this is worth while technology to use.

    I would also be interested to hear from anybody that is using it.



    typo
    [edited by: HardKnoX at 2:17 PM (GMT -7) on Oct 23, 2013]
  • I have used and like vPro but it is a flawed technology.. First of yo need the Desktop Management Option in Kaseya. Why it is hidden in here is a questions for Kaseya, but it is the only reason I purcahsed this module so it must have been a good one.

    As Hardknox has said if the AMT driver is installed and the machine has vPro Version 6.1 or higher you can configure the vPro from within Kaseya. The computer just needs to be turned on for the vPro activation phase.

    If you have older machine these have to be set by a tech at the machine as you have been doing.

    If you machine has a video card other than the generic intel video, then the only thing you can do with vPro is turn the machine on and off.

    Kaseya vPro does work well

  • Yeah I ran into the video card limitation a few months ago too seem to be an odd limitation but what can you do.

  • Thanks guys.  For me, I dont see the business case for us to spend time developing this.  

  • Hi all -- Scott Schafer from Intel here.

    Two things that I think will help...first, in terms of how to adopt vPro within Kaseya, Intel has just launched the Kaseya vPro Navigator. It gives detailed, step-by-step instructions on provisioning vPro-based PCs and using the vPro remote management functions already integrated into Kaseya. And you get a chance to win a free GoPro HERO 3 Video Camera, which can't be bad. Check it out and let us know what you think at https://msp.intel.com/KaseyavProNavigator

    Second, we've got real-world quantified benefits of vPro--quantified by Kaseya-using MSPs, not Intel--in a number of case studies. Two of them are linked on the Kaseya page on intel.com, and many more are here.

  • We have used vPro for several years with Kaseya and without. On older versions you need to enable it and setup dhcp, dns, IP and a variety of other information at the console in Bios Setup Mode. Having done that, you can open a browser on any other system and using the IP address of the machine you want to connect to and port, you can get right into the machine to see if it is powered up, and if not, turn it on. If it is hung you can shut it down and power it up again as a restart.

    Kaseya moved vPro to the DM Tab, but you don't need to purchase DM to use the vPro Management. One draw back to using vPro is if you turn the machine off or do a shutdown the command turns the machine off immediately. Thus creating a chkdsk situation as the index table may be corrupted when coming back up. However, if the machine is off, it is certainly handy to power the machine up for a client that needs to remote in and the machine was shutdown for the night or weekend.

    While vPro machines are more costly to the client (more revenue for us), those clients that needed to get their machines on so they could work remotely found it invaluable and well worth the additional cost. In almost every case we swapped machines for key firm members to have a machine with vPro and never put anything back on the desk that did not have vPro.

    It also cements our service relationships with clients as a full service VCTO by recommending out of the ordinary products and providing services they can't get out of the phone book or on their own.

    We have used machines with WOL support but found they do not always work reliably and certainly cannot turn a hung machine off. vPro has never failed in that regard.

    Once you get the setup and passwords entered, Kaseya works as well and does the job. Or you can Remote to a local server or another workstation and use a local browser, providing REMOTE CONTROL is working.

  • Smile

    Tools and Info from Intel  [Check]

    Glowing reference from Kaseya Community member  [Check]

    Like I said "this is worth while technology to use" now if I can only get my boss and the account manager onboard with it.

  • Check-out the Desktop Management module, vPro section. I recommend you read the docs but here is a RQS-really quick start...

    1. Detect vPro

    2. Enable vPro.

    3. Set vPro Password.

    4. Set a vPro Proxy - another machine on the same network, doesn't need to be a vPro capable machine.

    At this point you should have all the vPro capabilities from within Kaseya. Remotely controlling a computer will require the purchase and installation of a certificate. If you read the documentation, as suggested, you should know that.

    You can, however, avoid the need for the certificate if you remote into any computer on the same network and log into your VSA. You can use kviewer to remote control the machine from there. Of course, you'll want to test it out first. I can boot to the bios and make changes. I haven't tested the boot-to-image part yet - although writing this just gave me an idea. Thanks!

  • After reading the Intel vPro Navigator for Kaseya, I highly recommend reading it. It really explains things very well - much better than the Kaseya documentation.

  • Thought I'd weigh in, since I'm going through the vPro/Kaseya program at the moment.

    Advantages:

    • Saves time and wondering whether the machine will come back from a Windows-initiated reboot
    • Allows for power savings (Windows shutdown or hard power-off of machines via schedule)
    • Cuts down on unnecessary truck rolls by employing remote KVM, remote ISO boot, etc.
    • Kaseya's implementation of user-consent-required provisioning works reasonably well

    Disadvantages:

    • Discrete video cards will not work with remote vPro KVM (only Integrated Video, and only the 1st (primary) monitor)
    • Requires a vPro Proxy (you designate a machine as a vPro Proxy within Kaseya) at each site, on each subnet, in order to allow remote KVM
    • Remote ISO boot requires two-stage method (small ISO that loads the larger ISO), so bear this in mind for reformats and/or repair installs
    • Truly "autonomous" KVM (i.e. no user consent required) necessitates either USB provisioning (~1-2 minutes per machine) -or- an advanced certificate-based provisioning method (the latter not being terribly practical for MSPs) -- if you provision through Kaseya (without the USB key), then the user is prompted with a 6-digit code, which they then have to read back to you in order to allow remote control (assuming they have the Intel Management Software (see below)
    • Kaseya's vPro implementation uses a dated version of the vPro utilities, and though it can successfully provision vPro machines (in user-consent-required mode), it still displays a somewhat hairy error if the machine is vPro 8.1 or above
    • The Desktop Management module feels clunky and unpolished (though I understand this will be changing next year)
    • Intel Management Software must be installed on the endpoint in order for it to use KVM, etc.  (may not always be installed if the client is religious about removing the preinstalled bloatware or use a standard image)
    • Power up/power down do not integrate into Policy Management
    • All provisioning is done manually (it would be nice to auto-provision if a new Agent checks in that supports vPro, i.e. through Policy Management)

    I'm still pending a debrief with Intel; however, myself and my Management haven't really bought into this just yet.  Yes, it's getting better, but unless you manage one or a few homogeneous environments with a bunch of vPro machines that you can power on/off willy-nilly, it's just... meh.  Close, but not quite there for us... yet.  Wink