Release levels and PTFs (February 2019)

People are always asking me how often they should be performing PTF maintenance, and when is the right time to upgrade their operating system. I updated this article from last month with the current levels of PTFs. Let’s look at PTFs. First, PTFs are Program Temporary Fixes that are created by IBM to fix a problem that has occurred or to possibly prevent a problem from occurring. In addition, sometimes PTFs add new functionality, security, or improve performance. Therefore, I am always dumbfounded as to why customers do not perform PTF maintenance on their machine at least quarterly. If IBM has come out with a fix for your disk drives, why do you want to wait for your disk drive to fail with that problem, only to be told that there is a fix for that problem, and if you had applied the PTF beforehand, you would have averted the problem. Therefore, I think a quarterly PTF maintenance strategy is a smart move. Many of our customers are on our quarterly PTF maintenance program, and that provides them with the peace of mind of knowing their system is up to date on PTFs. Below is a table of the major group PTFs for the last few releases. This is what we are installing for our customers on iTech Solutions Quarterly Maintenance program.

7.3 7.2 7.1 6.1 V5R4
Cumul Pack 18242 18249 17192 15063 12094
Tech. Refresh 5 9 11
Grp Hipers 78 141 239 210 204
DB Group 13 24 43 33 33
Java Group 11 19 34 41 34
Print Group 3 13 31 49
Backup/Recov. 26 47 75 61 57
Blade/IXA/IXS 1 16 30 15
HTTP 17 30 53 46 36
TCP/IP  1 4 11 17 22
Security 38 71 90 60  33
High Availability 7 10 17  5
Hardware 16 33 43  17
Open Source 6 6 6

The easiest way to check your levels is to issue the command WRKPTFGRP. They should all have a status of installed, and you should be up to the latest for all the above, based upon your release. Now there are more groups than the ones listed above, but these are the general ones that most people require. We can help you know which group PTFs you should be installing on your machine based upon your licensed programs. Here is a nice tidbit. The Cumulative PTF package number is broken down as YDDD, where Y is the year and DDD is the day it was released. Therefore, if we look at the cumulative package for 7.3, the ID is 18023. We can determine that it was created on the 23rd day of 2018, which is January 23, 2018. Look at your machine and this will give you a quick indication of just how far out of date in PTFs you may be.

HMCs

If you have a Hardware Management Console (HMC,) you should be running:

Model Release Service Pack End of Service
HMC (7063-CR1)

Power Based

V9R1
    1. MH01736
    2. SP921 MH01790
    3. MH01805
March 31, 2020
HMC (7063-CR1)

Power Based

V8R8.7
  1. MH01707
  2. SP2 MH01755
  3. MH01797
August 31,2019
HMC (CR7 & above) V9R1
    1. MH01734
    2. SP921 MH01789
    3. MH01804
March 31,2020
HMC (CR7 & above) V8R8.7
  1. MH01706
  2. SP2 MH01754
  3. MH01796
August 31,2019
HMC V8R8.6
  1. MH01655
  2. SP3 MH01711
  3. MH01764
  4. MH01795
October 31, 2018
HMC V8R8.5
  1. MH01617
  2. SP3 MH01689 (must be installed from classic GUI or command line)
  3. MH01758
  4. MH01730 (can be installed on any SP, required for upgrade to 8.8.6 or 8.8.7).
May 31, 2018
HMC V8R8.4
  1. MH01560 (must be installed from command line using UPDHMC)
  2. SP3 MH01652 (must be installed from command line using UPDHMC)
  3. MH01730
  4. MH01729 (must be installed from classic GUI or from command line; can be installed on any SP, required for upgrade to 8.8.6)
November 30, 2017
HMC V8R8.3
  1. SP3 MH01619
  2. MH01717
July 31, 2017
HMC  V8R8.2
  1. SP3 MH01583
  2. MH01688
October 31, 2017
HMC (CR4 last release) V7R7.9
  1. SP3 MH01546
  2. MH01587
  3. MH01687
December 30, 2016
HMC V7R7.8
  1. SP1 MH01397
  2. SP2 MH01432
  3. MH01570
October 31, 2015
or V7R7.7
  1. SP3 MH01379
  2. SP4 MH01415
  3. MH01516
February 28, 2015
HMC C03 V7R3.5
  1. SP4 MH01277
May 31, 2014

If we have a model listed above in the HMC column that is the highest level of firmware that model of the HMC can be upgraded to.

  • Note that release 8.8.x does not support any POWER5 servers.
  • Version 7.7.9 is not supported as of 12/30/2016 and cannot be installed on HMC models C03, C04 or CR2.
  • If an HMC is used to manage any POWER7 processor based server, the HMC must be a model CR3 or later model rack-mount HMC or C05 or later desk side HMC.
  • HMC V8R8.1 is supported on rack-mount models CR5, CR6, CR7 and CR8; and on desktop model C08. These listed models meet or exceed the V8R8.1 minimum memory requirement of 2GB however 4GB is recommended.
  • If you want to manage a POWER8 machine, you need to be on at least HMC 8.8.1

Some notes on the new HMC release V8R8.6 that just came out:

  • Will be the last release to support POWER6.
  • Will be the last release to allow ‘classic’ UI login.
  • Will be the last release that supports the model CR5, CR6 and C08.
  • The HMC must be at version V8 R8.4.0 or later to be upgraded to HMC V8 R8.6.0. This requirement is enforced during installation.

If you have a Flexible Service Processor (FSP) your firmware should be:

Machine Processor Model Version End of Service
POWER5 or 5+ 520, 515, 525, 550, 570 SF240_418_382 11/30/2012
POWER6 940x, M15, M25, M50 EL350_176_038 01/31/2017
8203-E4A, 8204-E8A, 8204-E4A EL350_176_038 01/31/2017
MMA, 560, 570 EM350_176_038 01/31/2017
9119-FHA EH350_176_038 01/31/2017
POWER7 8231-E1B, 8202-E4B, 8231-E2B, 8205-E6B, 8233-E8B, 8236-E8C AL730_159_159 05/31/2018
9117-MMB, 9179-MHB AM780_100_100 05/31/2018
8231-E1C, 8202-E4C, 8205-E6C AL740_167_167  05/31/2018
9117-MMC, 9179-MHC AM770-126_126  05/31/2018
POWER7+ 8231-E1D, 8202-E4D, 8231-E2D, 8205-E6D AL770_126_126  05/31/2018
8408-E8D, 9109-RMD AM770_126_126  05/31/2018
9117-MMD, 9179-MHD AM780_100_100  05/31/2018
POWER8 8408-E8E, 8284-21A,  8284-22A, 8286-41A, or 8286-42A SV860_180_165 Not Announced
9119-MHE or 9119-MME SC860_180_165 Not Announced
POWER9 9008-22L, 9009-22A, 9009-41A, or 9009-42A VL910_122_089 Not Announced

If you need help with upgrading your HMC or FSP just give us a call. We will be happy to perform the function for you or assist you in doing it. Contact Pete Massiello.

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