Release levels and PTFs (March 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.
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 Look at your machine and this will give you a quick indication of just how far out of date in PTFs you may be.
If you have a Hardware Management Console (HMC,) you should be running:
|Model||Release||Service Pack||End of Service|
||March 31, 2020|
|HMC (CR7 & above)||V9R1||
|HMC (CR7 & above)||V8R8.7||
||October 31, 2018|
||May 31, 2018|
||November 30, 2017|
||July 31, 2017|
||October 31, 2017|
|HMC (CR4 last release)||V7R7.9||
||December 30, 2016|
||October 31, 2015|
||February 28, 2015|
||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|
|POWER7||8231-E1B, 8202-E4B, 8231-E2B, 8205-E6B, 8233-E8B, 8236-E8C||AL730_159_159||05/31/2018|
|8231-E1C, 8202-E4C, 8205-E6C||AL740_167_167||05/31/2018|
|POWER7+||8231-E1D, 8202-E4D, 8231-E2D, 8205-E6D||AL770_126_126||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.