vPro in Action: First Production Deployment of Intel® vPro in China

vPro in Action: First Production Deployment of Intel® vPro in China

Jackson He

A technology is only as good as the value it delivers to the business. Intel® vPro is no exception. We can talk about the technical merits and tricks of how to deploy it wisely all day long - they are all very important. But in the end of the day, it is how the end users view the technology and value it in their day-to-day business operations. To this end, we have conducted quite many end user pilots. One of the successful stories was to deployment of Intel® vPro at China Ministry of Railways (MOR) Jinan Bureau. It was the first production deployment of Intel® vPro in China.

Before we dive into the story, here is some basic fact of MOR and Jinan Railway Bureau:

  • MOR is the 2nd largest ministry in China with nearly 2 million employees. It is responsible for construction, maintenance, and operation of 80,000 km railway throughout China (~120,000 km by 2015).

  • Jinan Railway Bureau, which oversees a major transport artery in eastern China that connects four of the country's most important export hubs, has seen its services improve by leaps and bounds recently.

Well, so what? What are the business problems that Jinan Railway Bureau has that warrant a solution based Intel® vPro Technology? Here is the problem statement the customer told us:

  • With China's railway moving into high-speed railway operations (200KM/Hr in 2007 and 300KM/Hr by 2010), Jinan Railway Bureau requires near real-time data collected from railway lines to facilitate overall system management and train security/safety administration.

  • However, frontline rail workers possess very few or no PC skills, a bottleneck that can potentially cause delays in the Bureau's railway management.

  • Additionally, casual PC mistakes on railway lines can cause issues that require the onsite repair of IT support staff, who could hundreds of kilometers away at the Jinan Bureau Headquarter, a time-consuming and labor-intensive process that impacts critical PC usage.

  • To lower the TCO (total cost of ownership), MOR started IT infrastructure consolidation and centralized IT staff at major hubs. Jinan is one of the major hubs. It will heavily rely on remote management technology to operate. However, when a PC is dead, there is not much they can do remotely.

This is a perfect case for Intel® vPro Technology and Intel® Active Management Technology. A solution based on Intel® vPro Technology was piloted in mid 2006 and 150 vPro systems went into production in 2007 the same day when China MOR operation speeded-up to 200KM/Hr operation - a key milestone in China railway history. Here is what covered in the solution:

  • In planning the new Permanent Way Management Information System (PWMIS) deployment for Jinan Railway Bureau, the IT department of China MOR looked into adding manageability features at the PC hardware level to tackle manpower issues.

  • Hardware-based PC management capabilities provide Jinan Railway Bureau with the ability to better monitor and recover their PCs in daily operations, bypassing the hassle of on-site PC operations and regular maintenance.

  • In addition, Jinan Railway Bureau enjoys added flexibility in embedding hardware-based management features directly into their specially developed railway management software applications.

Customers are really happy with this solution. They were on stage with Intel for vPro product launch and share their successful experience - "In choosing Intel® vPro Technology, we not only considered performance issues, but also investment protection issues. Intel vPro Technology is a forward-looking architecture that will serve Jinan Railway Bureau well into the next decade." stated by Mr. Liu Teng, IT Director of Jinan Railway Bureau.

What next? China MOR is very interested in Intel® vPro success in Jinan. Several other railway bureaus are following - Shanghai, Lanzhou, and Beijing are following the example and apply Intel® vPro Technology in different applications. We are working very closely with our China MOR customers to make vPro Technology a standard for their IT operations. Stay tuned for more exciting news of Intel® vPro.