Nvidia Steps Up Validated Desktop Platform With Management Capabilities


Business Platform features will now stack up against Intel’s


Nvidia’s plan for a validated desktop platform using processors from Advanced Micro Devices will include management capabilities that will compete directly with a similar offering from Intel.

Nvidia’s Business Platform, a combination of a stable image platform and quality testing that is expected to be rolled out officially within two weeks, contains hardware support for remote boot, restart and shutdown of PCs, said David Ragones, product manager at Nvidia. Also built in is a hardware-based firewall program “that protects the system from viruses and other security threats but is smart enough to recognize remote management traffic and let it pass through,” he said.

“Without a doubt, management is an important feature right now,” said Doug Phillips, vice president of product and solutions at system builder Seneca Data, Syracuse, N.Y. “It is what everyone is talking about.”

Intel, in fact, has spent the past couple weeks talking up its next desktop platform to the channel. Expected this summer, the platform pairs Intel’s Active Management Technology with a new dual-core processor, code named Conroe; Intel’s stable image platform; and a marketing push geared toward remote management capabilities.

Intel has an advantage because it has an established stable image program already and has for years developed a reputation for quality among system builders. Nvidia’s program is important, many system builders said, because it offers an AMD-alternative platform with its own stable image and quality assurance necessary for selling into corporate and education accounts. Nvidia, which with AMD is looking to expand into Intel’s corporate turf, already has an established brand in the consumer graphics market.

As CRN first reported in January, Nvidia, a Santa Clara, Calif.-based maker of graphics processors and motherboard chipsets, was piloting the program with a few large system builders. Ragones said 18 system builders—including Seneca Data, Equus, Compusys, Amax and Premio—are now committed to use the platform, and Nvidia is in the process of recruiting more system builders. Foxcon, Asus, Gigabyte and MSI have committed to manufacturing motherboards for the program.

Nvidia’s Business Platform combines a stable image platform synchronized with a similar program from AMD with certification testing by motherboard vendors and system builders.

Systems that meet the platform’s requirements will receive an Nvidia Certified stamp as a demonstration of quality that Ragones said Nvidia will eventually market to business customers. In addition, drivers for the platform will work across all motherboards available in the platform to simplify imaging multiple systems in a corporate environment.