Firmware receives very little attention when it comes to updates. Out of sight, out of mind.
Many devices: RAID controllers, NICs, chipsets, and even hard drives, get some benefit from being updated. Better features, security/bug fixes, etc.
Most SA say, "Whenever it breaks, update the firmware." But this can lead to difficulties down the road; Several times, when contacting Dell about a failed hard drive, I've been asked if my hard drive firmware is up to date. All of my servers use some type of RAID configuration. If I already have a single drive failure, should I even consider trying to upgrading the firmware on the rest of the drives or the RAID controller? I would say no. But Dell seems to have a different view.
- What's a realistic update schedule for system firmware?
- Do you have any best practices to share?
(I am aware that Dell has a nice utility called Server Update Utility, which checks for all new firmware on any Dell server.)