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The Lowdown on HP Care Packs

Many IT pros have experienced a headache, or two, or more due to HP care packs and changes to them over the past year or so. Since we’re a reseller of HP hardware, including ProLiant servers, we hear these concerns and questions first-hand. Read on to learn more about HP care packs and how you can find some headache relief.

What IT pros call “HP Care Packs” simply put are warranty and support services available on HP hardware. Since Hewlett Packard split their Enterprise and Consumer divisions, i.e. HP versus HPE, the nomenclature has changed a bit for the care packs. Care packs are now called HP Service Packs, and software update support has become an entirely separate service called HP Smart Update Manager (HP SUM). For the sake of this article, we’re focusing on the HP Service Packs for ProLiant servers and HP SUM because we hear the most concerns about these.

HP Service Packs come standard with all HP ProLiant units sold and are warrantied based on Born on Date. Born on Date refers to the date a unit is manufactured, not the date a unit is sold, and the service packs expire three years from that date. HP rewards customers for not letting their service packs expire, but if the packs expire for a year or more, the pricing increases exponentially.

Considering the three year timeline starts from Born on Date, that doesn’t leave much time for companies with buying cycles that are longer than 3 years, not to mention those that purchase refurbished equipment, before the packs expire. Older systems also require more updates to software and drivers so the cost for service packs and HP SUM add up very quickly. We’ve seen in many cases when the extra cost is enough to incline a customer to refresh equipment earlier than technically necessary.

One way to avoid the high pricing of HP service packs for older systems is to take advantage of free standard warranties and support that come with third party purchased hardware, and then download software updates or drivers from HPE. We’ve seen a number of customers choose this option which can save 30 to 60 percent in additional costs to keep equipment covered.

If you’re shopping HP systems and have questions about HP service packs, call us at 855-AVENTIS (283-6847) so we can help you find the solution that best suits your needs.