MeshCentral - Intel AMT Super MPS & Manager
In the past two weeks MeshCentral got a lot of infrastructure improvements for handling Intel® AMT. For anyone that is familiar with this technology, there are many ways to communicate with Intel® AMT and supporting them all using a clean design is difficult. This is exactly what MeshCentral now accomplishes with it’s new Super MPS and AMT Manager modules and use and a new ultra-configurable server-side WSMAN stack. The result is a beautiful design and leads seamless Intel® AMT usages. In detail:
- Super MPS. MeshCentral how has an improved Management Presence Server (MPS) that can receive tunneling connections from both TCP/TLS and WebSocket and can handle many connections targeting the same device. Since each Intel® AMT device can only connect CIRA once, why would this matter? The CIRA protocol is a great tunneling protocol for LMS and future relay software. This allowed MeshCentral to reach Intel AMT in many ways while keeping a simple and clean design.
- MeshAgent CIRA client. Thanks to Joko Sastriawan for this code, the MeshCentral agent is now capable is initiating a CIRA-like connection to the server for the purpose of relaying LMS traffic. This CIRA connection uses WebSockets as the transport, but otherwise uses the same “APF” protocol as a regular CIRA connection. MeshCentral can then attach it’s WSMAN stack to a channel within this connection to configure a device thru LMS.
- Intel® AMT Manager. MeshCentral has a new management module for Intel® AMT. When an Intel® AMT device is detected on the local network or thru one or more CIRA connections, the management module binds a WSMAN stack to a new channel and attempts to connect. It will automatically try TLS or non-TLS using credentials stored in the database or by trying out a list of provided usernames and passwords to find the right one. Once connected, it will sync the clock, poll the power state and more.
- Intel® AMT power state. The new manager module will automatically poll for Intel® AMT power state and display this on the web site. Because Intel® AMT can be polled when the computer is Soft-Off, Sleeping or Hibernating, these new states now show up on the web site. Polling occurs every 5 minutes. In addition, the manager module will perform system wake when requested, this supplements existing support for Wake-on-LAN.
- Hardware Inventory. If you setup an agent-less device group and place one or more Intel® AMT devices in that group, the new management module will automatically pull the Intel® AMT hardware inventory and save it in the MeshCentral database. This information will then populate the device’s “Details” tab with CPU, BIOS, Motherboard, Networking and Media devices. As you see in the last picture below, the new information is much like what the MeshAgent would get, but without the need for an OS agent.
Most of the work above is infrastructure that needed to be built in order to support future usages. As usual, feedback is appreciated. If you see any problems and need support on something, please create a new issue on GitHub or help other users.