How to get HP Support Packs and BIOS updates for HP Proliant G8 servers

HP (SPP) Service Pack and BIOS updates for HPE ProLiant Server

I have several HP ProLiant servers, I support,  from Generation 5 to Generation 8
-      None of my servers are under any HP warranty or support contracts.

For now, I am trying to get support for an HP ProLiant DL 360 P, G8 server
-      on this particular server, HP did provide a link to the latest version of the intelligent provisioning software that allowed me to create a bootable DVD, which updated the current servers “intelligent provisioning” partition.

In the past, HP ProLiant generation 3,4 and 5 servers would allow using the “SmartStart CD” to rebuild them. The G5 supported the latest SmartStart 8.70. I know now SmartStart is no longer supported.
-      I believe I have used SmartStart CD 8.70 on the G6 successfully but it doesn't provide the latest software and drivers.
-      I also understand that the G8, G9 and G10 use IP (intelligent provisioning) to install all of the HP software components when installing the server operating system.

I need help understanding what my options are now with HP to be able to download and install the HP service packs and bios updates. From what I've researched and gathered, HP requires the in user to purchase a warranty service contract.
-      I spent hours on the phone contacting different HP departments who are now all provide basically “à la carte” support. It was very frustrating and difficult to get to the correct department to get information as to how this required HP warranty contract support works.
-      A few days later, I received a phone call back from an HP partner that is not affiliated with HP, but I assume is responsible for the HP out of warranty support options.
-      For my “HP ProLiant DL 360 P, G8 server”, they would provide a 24 x 7 yearly support option of $950.  there was a cheaper option for $550 per year.

Here's my issue,
-      I don't need hardware support. I am very well versed with HP ProLiant servers for I been supporting HP ProLiant servers since generation one.
-      What I do need, is the ability to download the latest service packs and bios updates. In order to do so, HP is telling me that I have to have a full support contract.

I haven't purchased a brand-new server in over five years I've not had the need to do so.
I understand that HP needs to get paid for their software development - but to pay $950 a year for support that I don't need,  is extremely difficult to swallow.

-      I know HP allows me to download some Windows drivers and software but not the service packs and bios updates
-      I also know that some of the service packs are the same service packs across many servers for the same operating system.

Does anyone know of any other support options, paid or free, that allows me to download the software that I need.
-      I vaguely recall that there were other paid options that only supports allowing me access to all of the server downloads for a particular server and a particular operating system.

 I know that it is possible to install the Windows server operating system on to any generation server without using the intelligent provisioning and for the most part, and install the native Windows server device drivers. However, I want the ability for the server to be fully software supported and have all the HP recommended tools installed as recommended by HP.

Any help would be appreciated.
Andreas GieryicComputer Networking, OwnerAsked:
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Scott CSenior EngineerCommented:
We went through just the same thing about a month ago for a customer.  We had support on the server, but there were still a lot of hoops to jump through, get it registered, etc. before I could get the updates.

Took me about an hour.

Bottom support contract, no updates.

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Andreas GieryicComputer Networking, OwnerAuthor Commented:
You hit it on the nose, they said you had to get the server registered but they made it so difficult to get it registered. Then once I had one of my "out of warranty" servers registered, then they send you to another department to purchase support contracts. It appears all support contracts are farmed out to HP partnered vendors.
Andreas GieryicComputer Networking, OwnerAuthor Commented:
I don't have a problem paying for a support contract. Do you know of any support contracts for registered servers that don't require warranting the hardware. ?
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Welcome to the new HPE.
I quit doing business with them a long time ago.
In a nutshell ,pathetically dysfunctional.
Too many MBA's.
Andreas GieryicComputer Networking, OwnerAuthor Commented:
I was told that Dell doesn't do their customers like that.  is that true?

From what I understand, they have a different type of a support agreement

Sent from my iPhone
Depends upon the product.(high end SANs and such).
But for the most part Dell on servers is pretty lenient.
If you want to talk to tech support you need a contract.
Andreas GieryicComputer Networking, OwnerAuthor Commented:
I tried to split the points with pgm554 and the system would not allow me to do so. I was only able to select "Best Answer". I don't understand what happened. I needed to close the case.
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