HP ends free updates for out-of-warranty servers

HP is to stop providing firmware updates for ProLiant servers, unless the hardware is within warranty, or covered by a Care Pack Service or support agreement. The cut-off date for free updates is 19 February.

“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,” said vice president of server support Mary McCoy in a post on the HP website, oddly titled “Customers for life”. – PC Pro website – 10th February 2014

Ive waited a week or so before I made comment on the above, mainly because I thought that HP would backtrack, but its pretty outrageous that they would take such a stance in forcing people who purchase their product to fork out for extended warranty through them.

I currently have 14 HP Proliant servers that I’ve invested in over the course of 6 years here at Advantis.  I would say that 5 of them are currently in warranty still, and I have never taken out their extended warranties because its pretty much like taking out PPI insurance on the risk that a server may fail.

In today’s environment where Disaster Recovery planning is key, all of the servers I have are running in a hypervisor or VM based environment, so if a server failed, I would simply restore the image onto another machine and boot up the replacement machine.

If I was paying for HP warranty services on these machines, the equivalent money could buy me a replacement 2 servers every year to keep in a cupboard “just-in-case”.

This is what angers me though about their decision to do this.    Servers to me are a bit like cars.    if you have one thats working and doing the job you want it to do, you keep on running it and doing its job.    Yes, it may need servicing from time to time, but I employ people internally to check all of the components are fine (maybe add a bit of ram and disk space from time to time).     There is a risk of failure,   but its my choice to just have a replacement at the ready to use in such an event.

To deny me updates to firmware after only a year, when any form of security update or vulnerability with the firmware could be discovered way after the initial warranty is ridiculous.   I made the investment in your HP server in the first place, I don’t want to be forced to pay for the warranty, so just bump up the price of the server to cover this “intellectual property” that you should be giving me up front.

This reminds me of a PPI scandal where I’m almost forced to take out extended warranty I certainly don’t for something that really isn’t about a service warranty.

So, the next server I have to purchase won’t be HP.  Not because I don’t think its reliable hardware, but because I feel I’ll get better post-purchase support, extending my investment further.

So HP (and mimicked from a Reddit user) : Right now, Brian Roscoe  announces that effective 20 February, 2014, he will no longer be buying HP products. This aligns with industry best practices and is the right decision for me.

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