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Intel introduces management initiative

Intel and numerous partners gather in New York to introduce the Wired for Management initiative, a unified management and standards effort that has been underway for some time.

NEW YORK CITY--Intel (INTC) and numerous partners gathered in New York today to restate the obvious: the total cost of ownership (TCO) for PCs is too high. The Wired for Management initiative announced here serves as the formal introduction of a unified management and standards effort that has been underway for some time.

Combining existing efforts to meld manageability into Intel, which is an investor in CNET: The Computer Network, motherboards with standards efforts such as the Desktop Management Interface (DMI), Intel officials and third party representatives spent the day making a case for the manageable PC.

Accompanying the TCO-based discussion was the announcement of a new print server, details on a previously announced help desk software tool, and delivery dates for two low-end motherboards with manageability built-in features. Third party vendors also showcased their DMI-based tools and Intel-based hardware.

Intel relishes its role as the Switzerland of the computer industry, constantly organizing vendors to develop interoperability standards. And the Wired for Management forum is an overt expression of that.

"Our problem is always to make the industry aware of the technology," according to Kevin Kahn, the director of Intel's communications infrastructure lab. "This allows you to do a certain amount of consciousness-raising.

"We see solutions out there today and we see solutions out there tomorrow," Kahn said before he addressed the throng of analysts and CIO's at the event.

Intel formally introduced its LANDesk Support Center product, a new tool in the LANDesk management suite that includes integrated knowledge base and trouble ticketing features that make it easy for a user to submit a form to an administrator concerning a problem with their desktop.

Intel also announced new management-capable motherboards, and the Netport Express Pro/100 print server, designed to connect printers on a local area network consisting of 10MB or 100MB Ethernet and Fast Ethernet, respectively. The product includes Netport Manager, a software tool that eases installation and configuration of Intel print servers. The tool integrates with the LANDesk management suite and can send alerts to the LANDesk console if there is a printing problem.

LANDesk Support Center will be available at the end of this month in two packages. For existing LANDesk Management Suite and LANDesk Workgroup Manager customers, prices will range from $2,500 to 3,000 per console. For new customers, prices are $8,700 for one console with 100 managed nodes or $70,000 for 10 consoles with 1,000 managed nodes.

The new Netport Express Pro/100 print server will be available next month for $599.

Quad-processor boards are available now with management capabilities. A single-processor board will be available at the end of this month and a dual-processor model will be available at the end of next month.

A variety of third parties introduced diagnostic, management, and help desk utilities in conjunction with the event. Cybermedia and Phoenix Technologies introduced an automatic troubleshooting technology called ActiveHelp that intercepts problems and diagnoses software and hardware kinks.

Other vendors introducing products include: Radish Communications Systems, of Boulder, Colorado, Bluecurve, and OpenVision Technologies.