We know from experience how hard it is to troubleshoot a computer or server that has crashed. Unlike simply troubleshooting software problems, troubleshooting computers in a crashed state can be a time intensive exercise that requires physical access to the target computer.  Remote hardware management is a growing trend within IT administration teams. Intel® Active Management Technology (AMT), a processor-based hardware and firmware technology, offers an effective and convenient solution for remotely managing and securing out-of-band PCs. This technology builds certain functionality into business PCs in order to monitor, maintain, update, upgrade, and repair them remotely. AMD® also offers a hardware management solution called Magic PacketTM which allows for end node management of networked PCs.

 

Here are some useful applications of these technologies in remote hardware management when used with remote support tools.

 

Remote Hardware Troubleshooting & Recovery

Remote support hardware management tools allow IT admins to discover assets even when computers and servers are powered off allowing them to remotely remediate and recover systems during OS failures. Using remote support tools, you can also remotely reboot/restart crashed servers and workstations from within the remote administration console.

 

Wake-on-LAN (WoL)

Unattended systems on the enterprise LAN can be woken up remotely by using WoL functionality. This allows you to wake up sleeping, hibernating, and powered off machines, power them on, and then perform IT tasks. All three of the most widely used operating systems support WoL.

  • Microsoft Windows – Modern versions of Microsoft Windows integrate WoL functionality into the Device Manager.
  • Mac hardware (OS X) – Modern Mac hardware features integrated WoL functionality, controlled via the OS X System Preferences Energy Saver panel, in the Options tab. Marking the ‘Wake for Network Access’ checkbox enables Wake-on-LAN.
  • Linux – WoL support may be changed using a sub-function of the ethtool command.

 

DameWare Remote Support (DRS) offers remote connectivity and support for all your IT troubleshooting and administrative tasks. The upcoming version 9 of DRS extends remote connectivity to Windows, Mac OS X and Linux operating systems, and support for Intel vPro/AMT and AMD Magic Packet technology.

 

Some other remote hardware management features offered by DRS include:

 

Remote Hardware Driver Installation

Physically walking up to each target server and workstation, and installing driver updates is not always an option for IT Admins especially when they are supporting users at multiple sites. File sharing using remote support tools can help you deliver hardware drivers immediately to target PCs.  The IT Admin can then install them from a console without leaving his/her desk..  In the event that a computer requires a hard reboot or driver rollback, you can access it via hardware management tools.

 

 

Remote Network Diagnostics & Hardware Properties

Native Windows system tools give a wealth of information on the connectivity and availability status of computers connected on the network. Remotely accessing system tools of multiple computers from one single centralized remote administration console empowers you to monitor the diagnostics of network connections with tools such as Ping, Trace Route and TCPIP Utilities.