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George_V_
Beginner
62 Views

Remote configuration Local Agent API & Driver Interface

Hi,

I have been reading on the developers guide to sample configuration application about using the local agent API to activate the AMT device. There is a mention of WD client which is used to put the ME to AMT mode. It uses the commands STATE_INDEPENDENCE_COMMAND and STATE_INDEPENDENCE_CHANGE_TO_AMT. However, these are only defined locally in the local agent example.

What is the purpose of WD (watchdog??) Client? Is there any documentation on it? Is it just part of the driver? How does the WD Client is associated with the local agent or the amt device?

Is the "Remote configuration Local Agent API" defined in the "guide to sample configuration application" the complete API to the driver? or are there any other commands that can be sent to the device?

Is it possible to communicate with the device through BIOS codes at pre-boot phase or later from the OS by writting your own driver?

Please let me know of any answers.

Cheers
George

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4 Replies
Ajith_I_Intel
Employee
62 Views

The commands you have mentioned are only meant to be used locally using the Manageability Engine Interface (MEI) driver. Please remember that MEI driver is also referenced as HECI driver.

Section B.28 in the developers guide to sample configuration application document talks about the watch dog(WD) client. Intel AMTfirmware and other firmware executing on the Intel Management Engine are divided into clients. Each client responds to a subset of commands.The commands in appendix B.28 are part of two different clients:

  • The command client, which processes most of the commandsand is part of Intel AMT
  • The Watchdog(WD) client, which executes even when Intel AMT is not active or enabled. Special commands within the WD client (the STATE_INDEPENDENCE commands) allow changing a platform to enable Intel AMT.

The document currently only lists out the API's that are needed for Remote Configuration Local Agent and is not the complete list of API's supported by the driver.

Regarding the communication to the Intel AMT device through BIOS codes, I need to check on that. Can you tell me more on what you would like to achieve with this?

Hope this helps.

john_prothro
Beginner
62 Views

I also would like to see availability via bios. I have asked about this and local storage admin in the past and the explaination was it was documented that way and supporting use cases... non of which were applicable to me... were articulated.

We seem to have created a remote only managed unit in this regard, IMHO. One that can only be managed by ISVs. We bought the chips, however, we cannot utilize them... only the ISVs, which we are not one of (we make the PCs) can utilize the technology after we hand off to the os.

It would be nice for example to include a amt nvram storage diagnostic with our PCs, however, we would have to ask the owner to find an apprpriate PC to connect up to in order to accomplish this task. Not the most desirable IMHO.

We would like to manage nvram storage to add value to our products at bios start up that other manufactures do not have, however, we cannot manage storage locally, much less via bios, so any value add will have to come from a ISV... which they can turn around and sell to other manufactures of course which leaves us with no real advantage at all.

Ok... you are free to flame me at will ;) I just could not resist this.

Ajith_I_Intel
Employee
62 Views

Hi John,

This is excellent feedback regarding the platform. I am actually in an internal battle regarding this.

Thanks.

George_V_
Beginner
62 Views

Thanks for the replies.

I would like to be able to use the nvram before the OS loads. Furthermore I would like to know what it possible to be done with the device at pre-boot without using soap.

I cannot tell you exactly what we try to achive until we know what is possible.
For example, could we provision the device using a local agent running at pre-boot?

We may want to boot from a usb key or a floppy that includes a local agent (driver) and set some configuration parameters.

We are still evaluating the technology. However, it would be very helpfull if we could get some documentation explaining the architecture, the clients (at low level) and the interfaces they support. Maybe a MEI driver description and interface document as well as a document describing the actual device interface that the MEI driver is using so we can write our own drivers.

Cheers
George

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