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Should I buy a Gen8 given HP's new rules to access Firmware & Driver downloads


javaman
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Hi Should I buy a Gen8 given the HP's new rules to access Firmware & Driver downloads? I am not even sure what this policy means. Can I download the firmware to setup my server for a period of time? How long?  If I buy a P222 RAID card will I be able to download the firmware?

 

This would be my first server build, but his makes me nervous.

 

 

 

 

Edited by javaman
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To be honest I wouldn't worry too much about it as I am in the same boat.  I recently bought my Gen8 Microserver and a month later they announced the change.  Since I've found this forum it made me feel better to know that there is a community who are willing to lend a hand.  I've seen links to hacks of iLO4 to address the fan speed issue and how to mods.

 

It's an awesome piece of hardware and very happy with it despite some of it's quirks and HP's change in support.

 

If I hadn't known about the cheap iLO4 license link to e-bay on here I'd end up paying full price or not bother with it.

 

Hope this helps.

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Driver downloads will not be an issue.  Those do not require a contract.

 

Firmware updates  (this includes BIOS, iLO, possibly NIC firmware, and RAID controller) are warranty related.  Your primary concern if you purchase a Gen8 will be to register it and download these updates immediately so you're up to date.  The platform is pretty mature at this point, so once updated, you should be good.  And you'll be good for a year.  The P222 RAID firmware is tied to registering the RAID controller, not the server, but works similarly.

 

I'm still pretty disappointed by HP's turn with this.  The closest competitor is probably the Lenovo Thinkserver TS140, but you'd have to buy an aftermarket RAID controller which does not integrate with the lights-out management, and its form factor is larger.  But it is a worthy alternative.

 

I'd be torn, but the Gen8 would probably still win it for me.

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When it's time to upgrade the little guy I'll be consciously avoiding HP products.

 

Sent from my SPH-L710 using Tapatalk

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I have to agree with LoneWolf in being disappointed by HP's change. My argument is that it should be illegal for them to do that. They make the products. If there is something wrong with the firmware then it's on them to provide fixes as needed, at no extra cost. After all, you bought the hardware in good faith... they should be required to provide support for it. I consider it a type of fraud not to do so.

 

One option for HP would be to provide 2 types of firmware updates: ones that only fix issues with existing firmware, and ones that add new features. The could charge for the latter, and provide the former for free.

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I have to agree with LoneWolf in being disappointed by HP's change. My argument is that it should be illegal for them to do that. They make the products. If there is something wrong with the firmware then it's on them to provide fixes as needed, at no extra cost. After all, you bought the hardware in good faith... they should be required to provide support for it. I consider it a type of fraud not to do so.

 

One option for HP would be to provide 2 types of firmware updates: ones that only fix issues with existing firmware, and ones that add new features. The could charge for the latter, and provide the former for free.

 

And that costs them as much in development as just producing one branch of firmware, in my opinion, if not more.

 

When I think about it, my next choice will probably be a mini-ITX or Micro-ATX server I build myself.  I've already found boards that have basic lights-out management in that form factor, with features like an dual-Intel NIC, USB3.0, and a reasonable number of SATA ports.  With a single PCIe x16 slot, it'll fit a RAID controller too.

 

http://www.asrockrack.com/general/productdetail.asp?Model=E3C226D2I#

 

It'd cost me a fair bit more.  However, the joy would be in telling HP they just killed the Microserver line because their beancounters apparently matter more than their engineers.  Sounds about like WebOS and some of the other ideas that might have been brilliant, if only they'd not been so eager for quick profits over building a long-term competitor of a solution.

Edited by LoneWolf
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I wasn't trying to suggest they would save money by having 2 streams of firmware, but I also don't think it could cost any more to develop either. Basically, they just develop 1 firmware and then disable the feature enhancement part when putting out the bug-fix version.

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I think HP should rethink their business model.  Obviously firmware development cost money but I feel that if there is a bug they should fix it and provide the firmware update for free.  As for new features and after warranty has expired then we'll make a choice to pay for extended support or not.

 

Honestly, HP makes great products but they disappointed me that they decided to limit their support on both new and exist products.  

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New features, I agree. After warranty, not so much. A bug is a bug. It's a manufacturing defect. The only difference is that hardware manufacturing defects can't be covered forever because the cost would be prohibitive. Firmware defects, once they're fixed for hardware that's still under Warranty or Support, cost nothing more to make available to hardware that's no longer under Warranty or Support. I feel that means there's no excuse for withholding them.... it's an artificial restriction.

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Yes, and that all makes me a bit nervous as I would like hold on to this server for 5+ years. I am going to look into the leveno thinkserver more

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