IT Best Practices: Developing a Gold Standard for Driver and Firmware Maintenance

January 25th, 2018 |
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IT Best Practices: Developing a Gold Standard for Driver and Firmware Maintenance
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IT Best Practices: Advances in modern client computing have brought broader features and capabilities to enterprises, helping them develop new markets, innovate new products, and improve communication. But these advancements have also brought new challenges. Solution providers are releasing updates faster and more frequently, and not every update is required for every environment. Microsoft Windows 10, as well as systems built on Intel architecture, may require upgrades to drivers and firmware to provide all the capabilities and functionality users expect.

At Intel IT, we developed a Gold Standard configuration for our environment based on our experience and our lessons learned.

We determine which drivers and firmware to upgrade based on specific criteria that balance the need to upgrade a platform against the disruption it might cause. We consider the security risk, whether the upgrade fixes known bugs, if the upgrade is required for new features or OS upgrades, and if the upgrade should be included in our standard build. Our process includes:
• Identifying prerequisites
• Testing and deployment
• Monitoring and communication
• Contingency planning

Our Gold Standard configuration and the process for driver and firmware maintenance has allowed us to mitigate many of the problems and vulnerabilities that older, non-optimized drivers and firmware can introduce into the environment, and has also helped Intel to remain focused on security. Overall, we have increased our success rate to more than 90 percent and improved the user experience.


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