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Server bios/firmware/drivers

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Russ_50
Advisor

Server bios/firmware/drivers

I come from an environment, where we tried very hard to keep servers up to date as possible regarding the bios, firmware, support paq and the like. I am now at a new position at a different company where I am having difficulties convincing my peers that it is important to keep the servers up to date just like we keep the servers up to date with Microsoft updates for security. Their philosophy is if it's not broke, dont fix it. What are the feelings on this of others? Who is right, me or my peers? I need documented proof that the upgrades are necessary before the management will allow the upgrades. Let me know. Thanks.
5 REPLIES
JohnWRuffo
Honored Contributor
Solution

Re: Server bios/firmware/drivers

Russell:

I am very much like you. I feel like being preemptive in problem solving. As far as documentation to prove your points, you need to look at the release notes for each bios and software update and look for the fixes that are relivant to your needs.

If you see a bios update or software patch that specifically fixes a problem that is a known issue on this peice of hardware or software running under this and that O/S... print it out or copy & paste the relivant release notes into a well written report of your findings and present it to your IT team stating the potential downtime or benefits cause by updating.

The ammunition you need is there, you just need to present it to them with one thing in mind.
*** "The bottom line." ***
If you can show that by not updating the bios/software it will cost the company downtime and man hours to fix or if you can show that by updating a piece of software it can lower administrative cost and man hours you have won most of the battle.
Then you need to show how long the update will take and what efforts have you made to test the update in a lab scenario to make sure the update does not conflict with the O/S or application(s) running on the server.

Following those guidelines and documenting the heck out of everything you do will win this battle. In fact, managers like to see proactive members in the team. You could be setting yourself up for a bonus!

G'luck. I hope I have given you somethng usefull. -john
Enjoy!
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Russ_50
Advisor

Re: Server bios/firmware/drivers

Thanks. I am glad I am not the only one that thinks that being proactive is better. Maybe once I prove a few, it will be easier. Thanks again for the help.
e4services
Honored Contributor

Re: Server bios/firmware/drivers

Well Russ I am on the other side, so in lue of election time and all I wanted to just throw my 2 cents in.

My statement to my users is "Just say no". It is hard to find and keep a good stable platform these days. If you have one, I suggest you stick with it. This is specially true with Microsoft. They are in a bad position, trying to satisfy everyone. But what happens is that they are 100% with no one. XP SP2 is a prime example, but a divergence for Microsoft in my opinion. I feel now they have decided to protect themselves at all costs, therefore some of the "security patchs" provided do not allow certain processes to function. This way they can say, 'well you overroad the system settings so it is not our fault you were compromised'.

Just say no. To any so called "upgrade", Macromedia, plugin, piece of kit, unless your REALLY sure you need it. Even then, make an image of the system so you can go back if you do not like what has happened.

Vote for ME on election day! ;-)
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Russ_50
Advisor

Re: Server bios/firmware/drivers

Thanks for the input. I will take that in mind as well. I definately think you are correct in making the image of the system before hand. That is a good idea. At least that way, we can go back if necessary.
Adam White_1
Advisor

Re: Server bios/firmware/drivers

I would say keep an eye on what the vendor suggests. For example, Microsoft recommend all users install service packs once they are released. This doesn't mean rush out and do it the second you can, but be aware that MS expects you to use the service pack and don't bother them with problems if you haven't. Hotfixes on the other hand are "only for users specifically experiancing the problem". There are various levels of advice in between.

If the release notes say you should install it, then by not doing so you are failing to operate your equipment in accordance with the manufacturer's recommendations - don't be suprised if it doesn't work as well as ones that are. PCs aren't airframes, but if this is a "philosophical problem" for your organisation then you should keep your systems patched :-)