Most of the time firmware or bios update on servers is something that most people doesn’t bother to do unless absolutely needed. Firmware or bios updates usually includes bug fixes or additional hardware support, some are critical while others are just enhancements.
Sample situation where you need to apply an update is if you are upgrading processor or memory and your system doesn’t recognize the upgrades, which usually are of higher capacity or specifications. These newer hardware upgrades might be supported on the latest firmware, as long as they’re compatible (of course).
Manual way of updating BIOS used to be a scary task (for me) specially for production systems as you could render it unusable if something goes wrong, and you have to do the trouble of restore process.
Although there are still manual ways to do them (ex: using rompaq), HP has their utility called ”HP Smart Update Firmware DVD”, which contains a collection of firmware and other utilities available for HP servers. All you have to do is download/burn the firmware to dvd, load/boot your system from it, do some clicks, spend few minutes watching the update process or progress, and you’re done.
Here’s an overview of Firmware/BIOS update process: 1.) Download and burn ”HP Smart Update Firmware DVD”. 2.) Load and boot/reboot the server. 3.) Choose “Automatic” update process and sit back. “Interactive” update process is available as well.