HP's decision to only offer firmware updates for its ProLiant servers to paid warranty customers has proved controversial. While the policy is staying in place, HP says that the restriction on firmware updates to paying customers won't extend to any patches that are needed for security reasons.
In a blog post responding to the original announcement last week, HP vice president for servers and support Mary McCoy said that the policy wouldn't impact on updates that had security implications. "We understand that updates addressing security and safety are important for your business, and will continue to provide those updates to all server users," she wrote. (That said, many security changes will be at OS level rather than firmware level).
McCoy also emphasised that only ProLiant servers were affected, and even then did not cover all aspects of the firmware: "We are not putting entitlement requirements on iLO, I/O, or controller firmware; we are only entitling ProLiant system ROM and complex programming logic devices (CPLD) firmware."
The new rules come into effect from 19 February.
More information on HP firmware availability [HP Technical Support Services Blog]