Intel has released the server computer
section of the Wired for Management (WFM) baseline specification, which prescribes an infrastructure for PC manufacturers to implement better server management technology.
Previously, the WFM baseline specifications only covered desktop and mobile
PCs. Intel intends to more completely address server-specific management issues
in future updates of the specification. Intel cooperated with Dell, Hewlett Packard, and IBM in developing the standard; all three are
major players in the enterprise server market.
Although many servers already provide some management features, Intel's goal
in promoting the WFM standard is to create standard interfaces across platforms based on Intel processors, allowing the same management tools to be used for desktop, mobile, and server systems.
Universal interfaces would reduce testing costs and increase final market for tools used for managing and controlling servers. That could allow developers to create more complex and advanced management software.
Intel's new guidelines recommend that servers have remote setup capability,
a feature generally not seen in the past. Other suggestions include remote
wakeup over the network and power management options.
Although the standard promotes these and several other advanced features for
servers, it only recommends them, rather than requiring compliance.
Manufacturers can choose which to implement while remaining fully
compliant with Intel, which may lead to significant differences in the features
different companies offer.