HP plan to restrict access to ProLiant server firmware - consequences?

Solution 1:

The simplest answer is, in this case, the correct answer: You will no longer be able to get firmware updates for HP equipment which is not (a) under its original factory warranty, or (b) covered by an active support contract with HP.

This has a number of implications, chief among them:

  • As a sysadmin you will have to ensure that you have an HP support contract to get continued firmware upgrades for machines that are beyond the factory warranty period.

  • As a business this alters the cost of continuing to operate equipment beyond its initial factory warranty period (as you now have to purchase support contracts, which adds to the cost of the equipment).

Ultimately what this means is the cost/benefit analysis of running HP hardware has just become more complex. How that analysis plays out for you, your company, or your clients will depends on your own internal requirements, constraints, and budgeting (and likely on your company's relationship with HP -- A company buying $500,000 of HP gear every quarter will likely get more favorable support contract terms than one that buys $50,000 every 5 years).

Solution 2:

As per an updated blog post from HP

The firmware access changes we are making on February 19, 2014 apply to HP ProLiant servers only. Specifically, within ProLiant, we are not putting entitlement requirements on iLO, I/O, or controller firmware; we are only entitling ProLiant system ROM and complex programming logic devices (CPLD) firmware.

If this turns out to be accurate; this will soften the blow. Your RAID controllers, iLO, etc will still receive firmware updates.

What I will be interested to see is how this affects things like the P4300's, which are technically a proliant, but not marketed as such.