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TCP/IP-Based Customized Computer System Upgrade Assistant Disclosure Number: IPCOM000012984D
Original Publication Date: 2000-Jun-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2003-Jun-11

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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 1