Apple last week released Apple Remote Desktop 3.1, making the company’s remote control and management application into a universal binary and fixing numerous bugs and limitations that you can read more about on Apple’s Web site. The main new capability in Remote Desktop 3.1 is support for “lights-out management,” which enables a system administrator to monitor and manage a remote server whether or not the machine is powered on. Lights-out management is a new feature of the Intel-based Xserves, so if you’re managing one of those machines with Remote Desktop 3.1, you can turn it on if it’s off, even via AppleScript; all that’s necessary is an Ethernet connection. (According to a post on the Ars Technica Infinite Loop journal, the Intel-based Xserve uses nearly all of the IPMI 2.0 specification, meaning that third party solutions will also be able to manage the Xserve remotely.) Apple Remote Desktop 3.1 is a free update for owners of version 3.0, and although the admin comes with a matching 3.1 client that’s presumably necessary for the new lights-out management features, Remote Desktop 3.1 Admin can still control older versions of the client. The admin is a 28 MB download; the client is a 2.5 download, available from Apple Downloads and from Software Update.
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