Wednesday, 05 February 2014 09:52

Hewlett-Packard to restrict ProLiant firmware and driver updates

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Hewlett-Packard (HP) has provided regular driver and firmware updates online for its HP ProLiant range of servers. As of February 2014 these are now limited to in-warranty or CarePack users only.

If your business is running HP ProLiant servers you'll know that HP makes regular driver and firmware updates available, and these are much appreciated by systems admins worldwide, ensuring the best performance can be eked out of their hardware.

To use these drivers you could either download stand-alone drivers or, best of all, download a CD image which functioned both as a bootable disc and a driver disc within your operating system. The disc was not confined to only deliver updates contained on it; after running the software you could choose to search hp.com for new driver updates also.

Yet, HP has emailed its many users to state it is making a significant change to this free-for-all software upgrade availability.

Specifically, the email states

HP has made significant investments in our intellectual capital to provide the best value and experience for our customers. We continue to offer a differentiated customer experience with our comprehensive support portfolio. HP, as an industry leader, is well positioned to provide reliable support services across the globe with HP's tools, trained engineers, and genuine certified parts. Only HP customers and authorized channel partners may download and use support materials.

In line with this commitment, starting in February 2014, Hewlett-Packaed Company will change the way firmware updates and Service Pack for ProLiant (SPP) on HP ProLiant server products are accessed. Select server firmware and SPP on these products will only be accessed through the HP Support Center to customers with an active support agreement, HP CarePack, or warranty linked to their HP Support Center User ID and for the specific products being updated. We encourage you to review your current support coverage to ensure you have the appropriate coverage to maintain uninterrupted access to firmware updates and SPP for these products.

This said, the email notes it has requirements under Australian law which cannot be ignored:

Notwithstanding the above, our products come with consumer guarantees that cannot be excluded under the Australian Consumer Law (ACL). Nothing in this letter excludes or limits any right or remedy, or any guarantee, warranty or other term or condition implied or imposed by the ACL which cannot be excluded or limited.

For HP ProLiant customers, it is now prudent to determine if your server hardware is under a support agreement of some form. It is also prudent to download the latest firmware update CD for your ProLiant system now. You can find the manual online at HP's web site.

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David M Williams

David has been computing since 1984 where he instantly gravitated to the family Commodore 64. He completed a Bachelor of Computer Science degree from 1990 to 1992, commencing full-time employment as a systems analyst at the end of that year. David subsequently worked as a UNIX Systems Manager, Asia-Pacific technical specialist for an international software company, Business Analyst, IT Manager, and other roles. David has been the Chief Information Officer for national public companies since 2007, delivering IT knowledge and business acumen, seeking to transform the industries within which he works. David is also involved in the user group community, the Australian Computer Society technical advisory boards, and education.

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