Browse Prior Art Database

TCP/IP-Based Customized Computer System Upgrade Assistant

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000012984D
Original Publication Date: 2000-Jun-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2003-Jun-11
Document File: 3 page(s) / 33K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Abstract

Disclosed in this paper is a means of providing assistance to the upgrade process utilized by administrators of AIX* computer systems. In today's increasingly complex computer environment, with large disk arrays, shared data, and a wide-spread user base, upgrading a computer operating system has become an ever-more difficult and tedious task. Upgrading AIX images, in particular, requires maintaining an awareness of many system parameters, including printer configurations, tty definitions, network interfaces, user id's, and passwords. Failure to maintain awareness of these parameters may result in loss of functionality on a system following an upgrade. Furthermore, even if an awareness is maintained of these parameters, the reconstruction of such system specifics during and/or after an upgrade can be both time-consuming and prone to administrator error. Therefore, a desirable innovation would not only preserve data about these parameters, but would also provide assistance in maintaining these parameters during an operating system upgrade. Finally, a particularly convenient feature would also permit these upgrade assistance operations to occur across TCP/IP computer networks, such that physical proximity to the target system would not necessarily be required, and that all the transmission and communication confidences associated with TCP/IP protocols could be used to guarantee the successful upgrade. Note that, because of its TCP/IP usage, this innovation would be extendible and applicable to a broad range of platforms. Furthermore, it would be useful on systems physically contained within the same room and on the same subnetwork, or it could be used on systems physically positioned around the globe, via use of Internet connections.

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TCP/IP-Based Customized Computer System Upgrade Assistant

Disclosed in this paper is a means of providing assistance to the
upgrade process utilized by administrators of AIX* computer
systems. In today's increasingly complex computer environment,
with large disk arrays, shared data, and a wide-spread user base,
upgrading a computer operating system has become an ever-more
difficult and tedious task. Upgrading AIX images, in particular,
requires maintaining an awareness of many system parameters,
including printer configurations, tty definitions, network
interfaces, user id's, and passwords. Failure to maintain
awareness of these parameters may result in loss of functionality
on a system following an upgrade. Furthermore, even if an
awareness is maintained of these parameters, the reconstruction
of such system specifics during and/or after an upgrade can be
both time-consuming and prone to administrator error. Therefore,
a desirable innovation would not only preserve data about these
parameters, but would also provide assistance in maintaining
these parameters during an operating system upgrade. Finally, a
particularly convenient feature would also permit these upgrade
assistance operations to occur across TCP/IP computer networks,
such that physical proximity to the target system would not
necessarily be required, and that all the transmission and
communication confidences associated with TCP/IP protocols could
be used to guarantee the successful upgrade. Note that, because
of its TCP/IP usage, this innovation would be extendible and
applicable to a broad range of platforms. Furthermore, it would
be useful on systems physically contained within the same room
and on the same subnetwork, or it could be used on systems
physically positioned around the globe, via use of Internet
connections.

An innovation which has been developed solves the problem of
maintaining system specifics following an upgrade for many
computer system parameters, and utilizes TCP/IP connectivity in
the manner described above. Specifically, a set of comprehensive
scripts have been painstakingly constructed to record many facets
of a system's configuration, including printer configuration, tty
definitions, network interfaces, user id's, and passwords.
Furthermore, the outputs of these scripts can be fed into their
assistive counterparts, another series of scripts which have the
ability to automatically construct the desired system parameters
onto the target computer. Note that although this script was
written for AIX-based systems, the principles here can be
extended to other architectures, as mentioned above.

The basic process is that all relevant data is captured across a
TCP/IP-based network by the scripts, as detailed below. By

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definition, the data containing the "personality" of the computer
system, e.g., the users and passwords, the tty definitions, etc,
is stored off-board on disparate media, physically separated from
the target computer. In the event of an upgrade, the desired
paramete...