Last Updated: October 5th, 2023
What is vPro In a Nutshell
If you know all this and just want an answer as to why your Intel vPro stops responding then skip to the Summary
In my post about the best home server for Proxmox I talk about how the HP EliteDesk 800 G4 Mini is, in my opinion, by far the best home server. One of the reasons I cited (apart from its low energy consumption but still great horsepower) was because it comes with Intel vPro which allows you to connect to the machine even if its operating system has crashed. Of course this means you can change BIOS settings, forcibly reboot even if the OS isn’t responding and many other things.
Without vPro you’re looking at either buying an expensive and bulky enterprise server such as Dell PowerEdge with an iDrac to connect remotely, or adding an IP-KVM using something like a Raspberry Pi. Neither are overly cheap options. But vPro gives you this.
So What’s The Problem
My problem has been that after a few days the AMT stops responding, or simply disappears from the network. This can be annoying because you might bork your server with a silly mistake and then you have to hook everything up to it again to re-gain access. If you’re space limited like I am, this is a major pain in the butt. If your server is remote (for example you’re away on holiday – or you work remotely in a van perhaps) then this could be catastrophic.
And it entirely defeats the point of having vPro enabled because that vPro is a bit of insurance that if you mess up the config of your server, or it crashes, you can still get access and fix it. If the vPro disappears off the network, well that advantage is no more.
And The Solution Is…
When you set up vPro you’ll have the choice of using a DHCP assigned address, or a static address.
I was using DHCP with a validity time of 1 week. So, the server booted up from cold, asked for an IP address for the vPro (and again for the OS – which the vPro will share with the OS if you let it) and all was good. I could access the vPro and do whatever I wanted.
For about a week. The the DHCP lease expired and it disappeared.
So, I recommend assigning a static IP address to your vPro interface. I also recommend assigning a separate address to the OS just to keep things clean. But that’s just me. I don’t think that’s relevant to the disappearance problem.
I’ve been running this way for a few weeks now and so far the vPro is still alive on my servers and I can gain remote desktop KVM to them from anywhere in the world. Not that’ve needed to – but you never know when you do!
If your Intel vPro enabled server is randomly disappearing from the network, try disabling the DHCP assigned address for the vPro interface and assign it statically. It seems that once the lease expires vPro no longer responds.
Make sure you assign an address that your DHCP server isn’t going to allocate somewhere else though!
Hope this helps someone who’s been struggling with this like I did for months!
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Thanks for reading!
Featured Image by Roshan Deshapriya from Pixabay