Admin Alert: Preparing for an OS/400 V5R1 to V5R3 Upgrade
January 5, 2005 Joe Hertvik
I recently started a project to upgrade a multi-partition AS/400 from OS/400 V5R1 to V5R3 (IBM also refers to i5/OS V5R3 as OS/400 V5R3). For those readers who are not accustomed to OS/400 upgrades, I have been taking notes to help you better understand the basic process. In this article, I’ll discuss some of the preparation necessary to perform such an upgrade.
My target AS/400 830 9406 configuration has four partitions (A, B, C, D), with A being the main partition. Partition A is not a production partition; it is only used to control the other three partitions. At the start of the project, partitions A, C, and D were at OS/400 V5R1, while partition B was at OS/400 V5R2.
Getting the Installation Manuals
The first step is to gather all relevant IBM upgrade documentation. IBM has collated upgrade information as PDF manuals on its iSeries Information Center Web site.
To view installation material online, go to the V5R3 Information Center index and open OS/400 and related software, then Install, upgrade, or delete OS/400 and related software. You will find entries for a number of upgrade tasks. My recommendation is to print the entire installation book (in PDF format).
The installation manual is critical to your OS/400 upgrade because it provides step-by-step procedures for readying your machine for an upgrade as well as for performing the upgrade and post-upgrade steps. Read it carefully.
There is a second manual you should also review the iSeries Memorandum to Users: Version 5 Release 3 (June 2004 Update) manual (also in PDF format). This manual discusses changes made in OS/400 V5R3 that can affect application coding, performance, and system operations.
It’s important that both your OS/400 administrators and your programming staff review the iSeries Memorandum to Users to see if there are any significant changes you need to implement before a production partition upgrade. There are several changes listed here, but the one that caught my eye was that IBM eliminated Java Development Kits (JDK) 1.1.8 and 1.2, as well as the Java PEX Data Converter (JPDC), from OS/400 V5R3. This means that if you have any Java applications using these JDKs or the JPDC, you will need to convert your applications to a higher-level JDK before they can be used with OS/400 V5R3.
Contact Third-Party Vendors
If you have third-party software running on any of your partitions, be sure to contact those vendors well in advance of the upgrade. These vendors may have patches or version upgrades that you need to apply in order to keep critical packages running smoothly after the upgrade.
Critical Issues in a Multi-Partition Environment
In environments such as the one I’m working in–where we are upgrading three production machines (partitions B, C, and D) from OS/400 V5R1 to OS/400 V5R3–there is a critical issue involving an upgrade to the controlling partition (partition A).
Common-sense network administration states that whenever you upgrade a group of logical or physical machines, the upgrades should occur one at a time, and you should verify that each upgrade is successful before starting the next upgrade. Concurrent upgrades without verification can spell disaster, so you will want to take it slow.
Because of this, in our target system, we will have OS/400 machines in different partitions running at both OS/400 V5R1 and V5R3 during the upgrade process. The problem is that IBM rules state that the controlling partition on a multi-partitioned system (A) can only support secondary partition operating systems (B, C, and D) that are running one OS/400 version above or one OS/400 version below the OS/400 version that the controlling partition is running on (+/- one version).
Since partition A must be able to control a combination of OS/400 V5R1 and V5R3 machines running on partitions B, C, and D, we can’t upgrade A from V5R1 to V5R3 while any of those partitions are still running OS/400 V5R1. Similarly, we can’t upgrade any of the secondary partitions (B, C, or D) to V5R3 while A is still running OS/400 V5R1.
The inefficient solution to all of this is that, before upgrading any of the secondary partitions to OS/400 V5R3, you must upgrade the primary partition to OS/400 V5R2. By doing this, partition A can support secondary partitions running at either V5R1 or V5R3, satisfying the +/- one version rule for all partitions. This is the first upgrade to perform, and it must be done before any secondary partition upgrades are started. Fortunately, the V5R1-to-V5R2 upgrade is very similar to the V5R1-to-V5R3 upgrade, and you can retrieve both the V5R2 Installation Manual and the iSeries Memorandum to Users from IBM’s Web site.
Installation Media and PTFs
If you’re like most people, you are probably upgrading from CD-ROMs. Order the appropriate CD-ROMs from IBM or your business partner. IBM also provides an option to install OS/400 from an image catalog. You can find more information on image catalog upgrades in the iSeries Memorandum to Users manual.
The other installation media that you will need is a current set of cumulative PTFs for your newly installed OS/400 V5R3 system, as well as V5R3 HIPERs and database group PTFs. PTFs on CD-ROM can be ordered either through ECS, fax, or by contacting IBM or your business partner. There is also a way to order PTFs on CD-ROM through IBM Fix Central.
When ordering V5R3 PTFs for an install, you only need to order the cumulative PTF package for OS/400 V5R3. The cumulative group PTF number is SF99530, and it includes HIPERs and database group PTFs, so those PTFs do not need to be ordered separately.
Once the PTFs arrive, you’ll have all the materials to plan and execute your V5R1 to V5R3 upgrade. In future columns, I’ll discuss some of the finer points on performing the upgrade itself, as well as some things to watch out for.
This article has been corrected since it was first published. The cumulative group PTF number for OS/400 V5R3 PTFs was misidentified as SF98530. The correct number is SF99530. IT Jungle regrets the error. [Correction made 01/17/05.]
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