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Hp To Begin Charging For Firmware Updates And Service Packs For Servers | Zdnet

HP starts charging for server firmware updates | PCWorld

If you own an HP server, be prepared to keep your support agreement up to date. Or else. Beginning this month, HP is restricting access to firmware updates and service packs for its entire ProLiant server line, a product category that spans a wide range of products, from low-cost small business servers like the ProLiant MicroServer (starting price $359) all the way up to enterprise-class boxes that cost tens of thousands of dollars. Here's an example of what customers see when they visit the HP Support Center: Previously, that firmware upgrade was available to anyone, regardless of the server's warranty status or whether it was under a support agreement. The new policy was announced by HPs Mary McCoy, whose title is listed as Vice President, HP Servers Support Technology Services. In a blog post strangely titled Customers for life, McCoy, a 30-year HP veteran, explained: This week, HP announced that effective February 19, 2014, we will provide firmware updates through the HP Support Center only to customers with a valid warranty, Care Pack Service or support agreement. This decision reinforces our goal to provide access to the latest HP firmware, which is valuable intellectual property, for our customers who have chosen to maximize and protect their IT investments. We know this is a change from how weve done business in the past; however, this aligns with industry best practices and is the right decision for our customers and partners. McCoy explained that customers with servers still under warranty will not need to pay for firmware access. And, she added, somewhat defensively, we are in no way trying to force customers into purchasing extended coverage. That is, and always will be, a customers choice. Most enterprise customers are already accustomed to purchasing extended support contracts; for them, this changeprobably wont have a serious impact. The new policy will have its biggest impact on the low end of HPs line, which is popular among small businesses and enthusiasts. It will also negatively impact values of HP server products on the resale market and potentially have a devastating impact on third-party support firms. The HP ProLiant MicroServer N40L, for example (shown here), was available for sale in 2012 at heavily discounted prices from online sellers, typically under $300.
For the original version including any supplementary images or video, visit http://www.zdnet.com/hp-to-begin-charging-for-firmware-updates-and-service-packs-for-servers-7000026110/

hp-warranty-status Only customers with an active warranty, an HP Care Pack subscription, or support agreement will be able to download the updates directly from HP. Previously, HP firmware updates were freely available. This decision reinforces our goal to provide access to the latest HP firmware, which is valuable intellectual property, for our customers who have chosen to maximize and protect their IT investments, HPs Mary McCoy vice president for technology services said in a blog post . We are in no way trying to force customers into purchasing extended coverage. That is, and always will be, a customers choice. Its not clear if HP will restrict access to critical firmware updates that are sometimes necessary to keep a device from misbehaving. As ZDNets Ed Bott who first reported this storypointed out, a flaw in ProLiant servers prevented them from running Windows 8.1 and Windows Server 2012 R2, and resulted in the system hanging when it tried to boot with those operating systems installed. A firmware update eventually fixed the issue, but under the new HP policy, the critical fix would only be available to new ProLiant owners and people paying for an extended updates, as HP's ProLiant software warranty is limited to 90 days after purchase.
For the original version including any supplementary images or video, visit http://www.pcworld.com/article/2095434/hp-starts-charging-for-server-firmware-updates.html

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