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OldMember

@comcast.net

2 recommendations

HP to begin charging for firmware updates and service packs for servers

HP server customers are about to get an unwelcome surprise when they need to update firmware or apply a service pack. Effective later this month, those downloads, which often fix critical bugs, will require either a current warranty or an extended support agreement.

»www.zdnet.com/hp-to-begin-chargi···0026110/

You guys see this?



TheJoker
Premium,VIP,MVM
join:2001-04-26
Charlottesville, VA
kudos:5

This reads like - After your warranty expires, we will continue to fix firmware problems in the HP product you purchased as long as you pay us to fix those bugs.
--
Proud ASAP member since 2005
Microsoft MVP/Consumer Security 2009-2010



OldMember

@comcast.net

said by TheJoker:

This reads like - After your warranty expires, we will continue to fix firmware problems in the HP product you purchased as long as you pay us to fix those bugs.

Yup, and the warranty on software is 90 days (1 year for hardware). It gets better - If you purchase from a reseller then the clock on that warranty starts from when the reseller acquires it, not when you do... I'll also mention this HP Care pack may be near half the cost of the unit in some cases ($126 and $200) according to the article. Not good.

If anyone needs a ROMpaq for their Proliant (or any other HP server), better get it before February 19, 2014.

SpHeRe31459

join:2002-10-09
Sacramento, CA
kudos:1

3 recommendations

reply to OldMember

Saw that the other day and my jaw dropped. I can't believe (well I kind of can...) they'd pull this kind of shenanigans on business-class products.

I forsee a lot of people moving to Dell or maybe the new Lenovo (formerly IBM) server lines.



OldMember

@comcast.net

It's crazy. Another thing - I can't see there being any motivating factor for HP's firmware writers to create solid firmware. In fact, the opposite may be true. Cheaper, the bugger the better for HP ($).

Seems I am done with Proliant now.


PX Eliezer

join:2013-03-10
Outland
kudos:4
Reviews:
·callwithus
·Callcentric
reply to OldMember

Firmware updates and/or service packs, are inherent admissions by a manufacturer that their product is defective.

Right?

Microsoft and others have brainwashed us into thinking this is "normal".

It's not.

For HP to charge for fixing defective products is outrageous.

With what HP has become in recent years, if William Hewlett and David Packard were alive today they would demand that their names be removed....


dave
Premium,MVM
join:2000-05-04
not in ohio
kudos:8
Reviews:
·Verizon FiOS

1 recommendation

said by PX Eliezer:

Microsoft and others have brainwashed us into thinking this is "normal".

I take it you weren't applying the monthly RSTS/E patch tapes in the 1970s, then?

Don't kid yourself: software's always been not-quite-right.You can't blame Microsoft for inventing that. The only difference now is that it's a little more urgent since most software is internet-facing. Well, that and civilians (i.e., non-computer people) are using it.

OZO
Premium
join:2003-01-17
kudos:2
reply to OldMember

There is an obvious conflict of interests -- they're going to create an incentive to put new security bugs in those new firmware updates if they want to make more money from the new subscriptions. What were they thinking?... Or did they even think about it at all?
--
Keep it simple, it'll become complex by itself...



Snowy
Premium
join:2003-04-05
Kailua, HI
kudos:6
Reviews:
·Time Warner Cable
·Clearwire Wireless
reply to dave

said by dave:

... Well, that and civilians (i.e., non-computer people) are using it.

That's a valid point.
When an understanding of iptables was replaced with a point & click access the game was changed forever.
Personally, I believe when HP dumped Carly Fiorina they kick started their road to mediocrity.


mackey

join:2007-08-20
kudos:6
reply to TheJoker

So? It's SOP for Cisco and no one minds so why shouldn't other companies do it too?

/M



NormanS
I gave her time to steal my mind away
Premium,MVM
join:2001-02-14
San Jose, CA
kudos:11
Reviews:
·SONIC.NET

1 recommendation

reply to PX Eliezer

said by PX Eliezer:

With what HP has become in recent years, if William Hewlett and David Packard were alive today they would demand that their names be removed....

Those of us old timers, who worked there in the days of "Dave and Bill" (as we called them), were disappointed when HP spun off the original core business (Instruments) as, "Agilent Technologies", while keeping the name, "Hewlett Packard" on the upstart computer business; should have been the other way around.
--
Norman
~Oh Lord, why have you come
~To Konnyu, with the Lion and the Drum


NormanS
I gave her time to steal my mind away
Premium,MVM
join:2001-02-14
San Jose, CA
kudos:11
Reviews:
·SONIC.NET

1 recommendation

reply to Snowy

said by Snowy:

Personally, I believe when HP dumped Carly Fiorina they kick started their road to mediocrity.

Trust me, the mediocrity was already evident when HP brought Carly Fiorina in.

lorennerol
Premium
join:2003-10-29
Seattle, WA

3 recommendations

reply to mackey

said by mackey:

So? It's SOP for Cisco and no one minds so why shouldn't other companies do it too?

Some of us mind. So we avoid Watchguard, Cisco, and the rest that oblige end users to maintain expensive ongoing support contracts for expensive products in order to receive bug fixes.

Can you imagine GM telling customers, "Hey, sorry, there's a defect that lets anyone steal your car and we have a fix, but you can't have it because you didn't extend your warranty."

Been saying it for years, but it's time to put an end to the liability exemption that software companies enjoy. They are, as we are increasingly seeing, just as likely to cause massive problems now as physically defective products, but for some reason we keep accepting utter garbage in the form of a 'finished' product.


Brano
I hate Vogons
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Burlington, ON
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reply to mackey

said by mackey:

So? It's SOP for Cisco and no one minds so why shouldn't other companies do it too?

Bug-fixes should be always free of charge, I don't mind if they charge for new features. ...goes for everybody, including Cisco.


Blackbird
Built for Speed
Premium
join:2005-01-14
Fort Wayne, IN
kudos:3
Reviews:
·Frontier Communi..
reply to NormanS

said by NormanS:

said by PX Eliezer:

With what HP has become in recent years, if William Hewlett and David Packard were alive today they would demand that their names be removed....

Those of us old timers, who worked there in the days of "Dave and Bill" (as we called them), were disappointed when HP spun off the original core business (Instruments) as, "Agilent Technologies", while keeping the name, "Hewlett Packard" on the upstart computer business; should have been the other way around.

Ahh... the golden era of solid test equipment like the HP612 and HP614 RF generators. Built like tanks, but longer lasting. I was using a 612 in 1998 for some L-band tests, and it had been in steady service in that lab since the early 1960's. Just an occasional visit to the cal lab for a touch up and back to work they went again. Later came the HP86xx series - just as durable, but more stable and easier to use. All of that back in a time before HP responded to the mystical lure of "computers" and let it all slip away... Oh, how the mighty are fallen.
--
The American Republic will endure until the day Congress discovers that it can bribe the public with the public's money. -- A. de Tocqueville


Hank
Searching for a new Frontier
Premium
join:2002-05-21
Burlington, WV
kudos:2
reply to NormanS

said by NormanS:

mediocrity was already evident when HP brought Carly Fiorina in.

As a former HP customer and employee you are correct, but there were a few after that who where much worse.


therube

join:2004-11-11
Randallstown, MD

Our Texas Instruments computer system had paid hardware & software support.
Seem to recall that being a couple thousand per year.
But then the computer was $20K, not $300.

And paid support was the norm for all systems at the time.

And support they gave.
If there was a problem, there was a man out - that day.
Even if they knew they couldn't fix the problem that day, even if they were overnighting parts, they still sent the man.

So they're not really doing anything new, they're just returning to what they've always done. Now doing that on a $300 machine... Well if you're an Enterprise customer & you have 1000 of those machines is one thing. But if you have one or two in your office, to me, that's something else again.

Buy a motherboard for $50, you get "lifetime" updates. No "support", necessarily, but as they tweak & find & fix, you can download updates, for free. (But updates only last so long, given the short lifespan of a particular hardware series. They're not fixing anything "for you", but as a normal course of their business r&d, you get the fixes.)



Kilroy
Premium,MVM
join:2002-11-21
Saint Paul, MN
reply to OldMember

We'll see how long this lasts. Other companies will either start following the same path or will take the other road and say our firmware update and service packs are free.

I don't know how this would affect companies that lease their servers, I suspect that it won't.
--
"Progress isn't made by early risers. It's made by lazy men trying to find easier ways to do something." - Robert A. Heinlein


MaynardKrebs
Premium
join:2009-06-17
kudos:4

2 recommendations

reply to Snowy

said by Snowy:

Personally, I believe when HP dumped Carly Fiorina they kick started their road to mediocrity.

Wrong. Their road to mediocrity started the day they HIRED Fiorina.


OldMember

@comcast.net
reply to therube

said by therube:

So they're not really doing anything new, they're just returning to what they've always done. Now doing that on a $300 machine... Well if you're an Enterprise customer & you have 1000 of those machines is one thing. But if you have one or two in your office, to me, that's something else again.

Buy a motherboard for $50, you get "lifetime" updates. No "support", necessarily, but as they tweak & find & fix, you can download updates, for free. (But updates only last so long, given the short lifespan of a particular hardware series. They're not fixing anything "for you", but as a normal course of their business r&d, you get the fixes.)

The following scenario from the article is typical of the types of issues you can run into that requires a firmware fix, except now you'll pay for that fix.
said by »www.zdnet.com/hp-to-begin-chargi···0026110/ :
The HP ProLiant MicroServer N40L, for example, was available for sale in 2012 at heavily discounted prices from online sellers, typically under $300. But this widely used server, which contains four drive bays in a compact box that is well under 1 cubic foot, wouldn’t run Windows Server 2012 R2 (or, for that matter, Windows 8.1) for months after their release to manufacturing. Windows Server 2012 R2 was released to MSDN and TechNet subscribers in September 2013 and was generally available in October 2013. But trying to install that OS on a ProLiant MicroServer resulted in a series of errors, with the system hanging at boot. The only workaround was to disable the built-in Gigabit Ethernet controller, a serious limitation for a server.

HP released a firmware fix for the issue in mid-November, 2013. The ProLiant MicroServer N54L, a later version of the N40L with a beefier processor in the same enclosure, suffered from the same flaw, fixed with a firmware update at the same time.

..Under the new policy, access to the firmware after the warranty expires would require the purchase of an HP Care Pack, at current prices of between $126 and $200, at least half the cost of the original hardware. That’s a hefty price to pay to fix what is arguably a defect in the original product.
That's almost ransom to me. You're okay with that, therube See Profile ?


therube

join:2004-11-11
Randallstown, MD

No, not really.
But unless everyone goes to that model, you still have choices.

So what kind of price can I get on 1,000 HP "servers" with 3-years support included?
And what kind of price can I get for similar from Dell?

If HP is priced lower including "support", then it doesn't matter.
Otherwise I can go with Dell, at a lower price, with support included, "free".

If HP is overpriced, then they've priced themselves out of the market.

The box doesn't matter.
There's nothing magical about HP. It's just a box.

If I'm a onesie twosiey & I know I'm going to have to layout $$ for "support", then the same way. How much is the box+support vs. Dell's box, support included? Whichever method works out to my advantage is how I'm going.

Or I can decide I'll do without support, like will happen with XP.



OldMember

@comcast.net

said by therube:

No, not really.
But unless everyone goes to that model, you still have choices.

I agree there are choices, and the choice will not be to purchase support on units that I would not have before, but go with someone else. Someone who wouldn't expect me to purchase a fix for something that should have worked as purchased.

Unfortunately, I have many HP units currently in place now. We're a shoe-string business, like many are these days. When you need a fix of this kind, it's many times a pressured situation to get it resolved. I don't believe it's hyperbole to call it ransom to expect hundreds of dollars to get the fix needed.

The fact that HP would pull this on their business customers is a sorry move. While HP might think they are bringing in revenue on forcing support, they sure will lose customers, and some long-standing. Not only over the money, but the quality of their brand which was once linked to quality business systems.

SpHeRe31459

join:2002-10-09
Sacramento, CA
kudos:1

said by OldMember :

The fact that HP would pull this on their business customers is a sorry move. While HP might think they are bringing in revenue on forcing support, they sure will lose customers, and some long-standing. Not only over the money, but the quality of their brand which was once linked to quality business systems.

Yep, it smells of desperation and shows a total lack of class or courtesy when it comes to their business/enterprise customers. I thought biz stuff was the higher margin equipment, no? so then why nickel and dime business-class users like a cheap consumer PC user who gets charged $20 for OS restore discs.


OldMember

@comcast.net

said by SpHeRe31459:

said by OldMember :

The fact that HP would pull this on their business customers is a sorry move. While HP might think they are bringing in revenue on forcing support, they sure will lose customers, and some long-standing. Not only over the money, but the quality of their brand which was once linked to quality business systems.

Yep, it smells of desperation and shows a total lack of class or courtesy to their business/enterprise customers.

Exactly.


Nightfall
My Goal Is To Deny Yours
Premium,MVM
join:2001-08-03
Grand Rapids, MI
Reviews:
·ooma
·Comcast
·Callcentric
·Site5.com
reply to lorennerol

said by lorennerol:

Some of us mind. So we avoid Watchguard, Cisco, and the rest that oblige end users to maintain expensive ongoing support contracts for expensive products in order to receive bug fixes.

This right here. We have Cisco in house right now, and we are looking at upgrading our infrastructure here. If we go with Cisco, we will be spending $150,000 over the course of 3 years with smartnet. If we go with Brocade, we get the same functionality and we only spend $50,000 over 3 years.

I can do a lot with $100,000.

Don't get me wrong, I think that Cisco is awesome. I got my CCNA and am all about Cisco. At the same time though, Smartnet is really annoying to me.
--
My domain - Nightfall.net

Martin2341
Premium
join:2013-11-01
united state

Hi Nightfall. Wow! Only 1/3 the cost for the Brocade package. It really did pay for you guys to shop around!



Nightfall
My Goal Is To Deny Yours
Premium,MVM
join:2001-08-03
Grand Rapids, MI
Reviews:
·ooma
·Comcast
·Callcentric
·Site5.com

said by Martin2341:

Hi Nightfall. Wow! Only 1/3 the cost for the Brocade package. It really did pay for you guys to shop around!

Make no mistake, Brocade isn't Cisco. At the same time, if you aren't married to one specific hardware vendor, then options open up.
--
My domain - Nightfall.net