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Method and Apparatus for Level Reporting and Management of Firmware Using Multiple Service Paths

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000016671D
Original Publication Date: 2003-Jul-08
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2003-Jul-08
Document File: 2 page(s) / 46K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Abstract

This invention defines a mechanism for allowing system firmware to be serviced using two different methods while maintaining the capability for each service path to determine which fixes have been installed. This scheme also allows each service path to have its own format and packaging.

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  Method and Apparatus for Level Reporting and Management of Firmware Using Multiple Service Paths

   The iSeries* has always provided service or fixes using PTFs (Program Temporary Fixes) which are packaged and installed via OS/400*. As part of the application of fixes via PTFs OS/400 maintained (in a database), knowledge of the fixes had been applied to the system. This prevented the customer from inadvertently back-leveling his system by applying older fixes. This application of fixes through the operating system is also referred to as 'in-band' update.

     The Hardware Management Console (HMC) will now provide another new path to service system firmware. This console can be used to service the firmware on multiple systems and platforms (i.e., iSeries and pSeries* systems). Using an HMC, fixes can be applied to the system whether or not the OS/400 operating system is available.

     The updating of the firmware while the system is running is known as concurrent maintenance. This new service path that is outside of the operating system is referred to as 'out-of-band' update. The packaging of fixes to be applied via HMC will be done in a more industry standard format. Specifically, fixes will be created as service packs in Red Hat Package Manager** format instead of OS/400 PTF format.

     The new service path presents a problem in that applying fixes out-of-band (i.e., via HMC) will cause the OS/400 PTF database to be out of date. Not only would the data be inaccurate, but the operating system will not even realize that the PTF data was incorrect. There is also no easy way for the customer to update his PTF data base to synchronize it with information about the fixes applied via HMC.

     This invention is to include an additional Load Identifier (LID) or replaceable unit in both the PTF and service pack that will be used to correlate th...