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I'm looking for a few ideas on how to keep HP server firmware up-to-date. How do other administrators keep the firmware revisions in check? Do you upgrade on a regular basis? Do you only run updates when you run into problems?

In my experience, HP tends to have pretty important ILO firmware updates, reasonably-important server BIOS updates, and pretty critical storage system updates (which often include improved functionality or features). I'm just looking for ideas...

Edit - I also found this post, which summarizes well: Firmware Best Practices and Update Schedules

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up vote 2 down vote accepted

If you're asking "how to do this", the best answer is with the HP free management software (forgotten the name) that will let you distribute PSP and BIOS updates. It runs along with HP SIM and the Hp Agent Homepage - you shouldn't have to touch the servers themselves, you can do it from the management software.

Then, you can run reports to see who's out of date.

As far as when to apply patches : you really need to evaluate that on a case-by-case basis. If a patch fixes a problem you have, put it in soonest - although preferably first on a test system, if you have one. If it doesn't affect you (this includes security patches, those will probably affect you), then why do it? Maybe once every 6 months to a year, you can go through and get everything up-to-date - plus as-needed, if you have to make a support call and they want the firmware updated before they'll work with you.

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You're referring to HP Insight Manager. My systems are distributed across multiple co-los and office locations, so the native HP tool doesn't work well. I've been running the patches either manually with the online updates or at the time of system installation. –  ewwhite May 23 '11 at 21:17
    
Ok, wasn't sure if it was SIM or an addon with a different name. Either way, it works across WAN links fine. Unless you have no actual connectivity it should be fine. What problems did you have? –  mfinni May 23 '11 at 21:43
    
I'm not as concerned about private WAN as I am about sites where I may not have consistent access. Do you run HP SIM alongside other management/monitoring applications? –  ewwhite May 25 '11 at 21:45
    
I used to work for a managed services company, and we ran SIM and IBM Director for the approptiate hardware, plus used Orion to monitor everything via SNPMP. Worked just fine. If you're using SIM primarily for software updates (the question at hand), then why worry if sometimes the connection drops? –  mfinni May 25 '11 at 23:00
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