Feeds

HP clampdown on 'unauthorised' server fixing to start in January

'Budget-conscious' IT types, no more cheap deals for you...

Security for virtualized datacentres

Exclusive Hewlett-Packard will start restricting who is allowed to fix its ProLiant servers starting in the new year.

HP is changing the way it delivers firmware updates for ProLiant systems from January, The Reg had learned, so only HP or HP-authorised partners are allowed to receive and install the patches.

According to a leaked internal email seen by The Reg, HP will only release updates in return for an in-warranty product serial number or an active Service Agreement ID.

That restricts updates to customers or authorised partners, and is designed to cut out those providing discounted support services.

It means customers will need to be on a full-blown support contract as that'll be the only way they'll be able to received a service agreement ID in the first place.

The change is being rolled out just as HP told Enterprise Virtual Array (EVA) customers they will no longer receive free firmware updates.

The ProLiant policy begins in January 2014, according to an internal HP memo marked confidential and for internal use only seen by The Reg.

HP will start notifying customers by email or letter of the change in early January.

The leaked HP email justified the new policy saying:

We are implementing changes in firmware and Service Pack for ProLiant (SPP) access for ProLiant Servers that will protect them from being downloaded by unauthorized maintainers. This is in line with our commitment to support entitled customers, whether directly or through authorized partners, and follows industry practices of protecting HP’s firmware and software updates.

A second phase will see HP "create a consistent customer experience for downloading ProLiant firmware and SPP based on product level entitlement".

This is due “later” in 2014.

HP wants to stamp out cut-price support companies who undercut HP or designated partners in supporting in maintaining its ProLiant servers, and thereby re-establish the support ecosystem and relationships with official partners.

It’s a policy that’s already been introduced by Cisco Systems, IBM and Oracle – a fact highlighted by HP as an attempt to pass off the change as nothing extraordinary.

HP said in its internal email announcing the change:

Our customers routinely receive unsolicited proposals from unauthorized maintainers to support HP equipment at a discounted rate. This type of support provider may appeal to budget-conscious procurement managers, but the support doesn’t match the breadth and depth of HP’s support expertise or global parts supply chain nor does it give our sales reps and partners the added loyalty that comes from an ongoing relationship built over time between HP and the customer, an attribute which often goes unrecognized.

The Reg asked HP to comment but it responded with a statement based almost word for word on the leaked email.

Departing from the email, HP did say: “These changes will provide our customers with a consistent experience for downloading ProLiant firmware and SPP based on product level entitlement.” ®

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

More from The Register

next story
Docker's app containers are coming to Windows Server, says Microsoft
MS chases app deployment speeds already enjoyed by Linux devs
IBM storage revenues sink: 'We are disappointed,' says CEO
Time to put the storage biz up for sale?
'Hmm, why CAN'T I run a water pipe through that rack of media servers?'
Leaving Las Vegas for Armenia kludging and Dubai dune bashing
Facebook slurps 'paste sites' for STOLEN passwords, sprinkles on hash and salt
Zuck's ad empire DOESN'T see details in plain text. Phew!
Windows 10: Forget Cloudobile, put Security and Privacy First
But - dammit - It would be insane to say 'don't collect, because NSA'
Symantec backs out of Backup Exec: Plans to can appliance in Jan
Will still provide support to existing customers
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
Three 1TB solid state scorchers up for grabs
Big SSDs can be expensive but think big and think free because you could be the lucky winner of one of three 1TB Samsung SSD 840 EVO drives that we’re giving away worth over £300 apiece.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.