RealTime IT News

AMD Simfire Open to Interoperability

AMD today announced the latest piece of its Trinity desktop management initiative with interoperability testing tools, codenamed Simfire. The tools allow managers to test whether their products meet AMD's DASH (Desktop and Mobile Architecture for System Hardware) standard.

Simfire is AMD's  answer to Intel's vPro platform, the next generation of which, codenamed Weybridge, is due this year. Unlike vPro, however, SIMFIRE is not proprietary to AMD's chips. It's an open source project that any hardware OEM can adopt, royalty free.

DASH, a Web-services-based desktop and mobile client management standard announced last week by the Distributed Management Task Force (DMTF), is the successor to the Alert Standard Format (ASF).

ASF is somewhat limited in that all it could do was remotely power up a computer. DASH is much more versatile, allowing managers to get a better inventory of their computers and getting a more detailed description of the internals of a PC, such as its processor, memory, firmware and BIOS.

Simfire tools will help facilitate the availability of interoperable desktop and notebook computers from multiple vendors as long as they are all using DASH. Vendors can test management applications against their systems.

The problem now with ASF and other management protocols is all of the components in a system have to speak to each other through layers of different standards, which is difficult at best. The DASH protocol is designed to make that possible.

"For management, you need interoperability on all levels. How you run management on the system is not a simple process," Margaret Lewis, director of commercial solutions at AMD told internetnews.com. "All hardware components in a computer must be able to interoperate and speak with each other, then speak with the OS, then the OS has to speak with management software."

Simfire tools are a joint development effort from AMD, Microsoft, Avocent, Tyan and Renesas. They are based on an open test framework, called Open Test Manager, which is part of the Open Web Services for Management project, or WS-Management. AMD's tools will be released under the GNU General Public License (GPL) version 2.

"With these tools being open sourced and freely available, we will work with hardware partners like HP, Dell and Broadcom," said Lewis. "Everyone can use these tools to test interoperability; they are not AMD-specific in any way."

Lars Ewe, division manager for Trinity initiative, added "We're doing a lot of heavy lifting to enable an environment where the IT manager doesn't have to worry about interoperability. They will know if they have all the players in house. Then it doesn't matter which vendor they choose for my devices so long as they are all DASH-compliant."