HPE warns users to update their flash storage or lose their data

Flash threat

The company says other flash storage suppliers are affected too, with Dell Technologies believed to be in the frame when it comes to the firmware threat.

Hewlett-Packard Enterprise (HPE) has warned customers to update their flash storage drives ASAP before they crash because of a firmware bug. The flaw could cause data to become unrecoverable once a drive has failed.

HPE says the problem affects a number of solid-state platforms, with them crashing after 40,000 hours of operation. The company was warned of the problem by one of its SSD (solid-state drive) manufacturers, which may also supply Dell Technologies (as Dell previously issued a similar warning).

The “critical” flaw, said HPE, affects drives in HPE server and storage products in the HPE ProLiant, Synergy, Apollo 4200, Synergy Storage Module, D3000 Storage Enclosure and StoreEasy 1000 Storage portfolios. 40,000 hours equates to four years, 206 days and 16 hours of use.

The flaw affects products running firmware version older than HPD7. HPE recommends that users upgrade the firmware to version HPD7 as soon as possible.

It said: “HPE recommends performing an online firmware update on HPE Gen9 servers during minimal I/O activity. This will not require a reboot in most circumstances.”

But, it added: “However, in instances where the online firmware update does not complete successfully, an offline update is required. After the flash update completes, the Smart Component will provide a message regarding whether the flash completed successfully.”

No affected SSDs in commercial use are said to have failed so far as a result of the firmware bug. But HPE estimates that SSDs that are left unpatched could begin to fail from October this year.