Image Catalogs: Another Timesaving Method for Upgrade or Installs
February 23, 2011 Hey, Joe
Great article on six tips for preventing Power i upgrades from slowing down. One tip that you missed is using Image Catalogs for your upgrades. They really help with installing software and PTFs. Also PTFs should be downloaded via FTP using IBM procedures from their Web site. CDs and DVDs are nice, but image catalogs are significantly better!
Rich wasn’t the only reader who pointed out the advantages of using Image Catalogs in lieu of CDs or DVDs for i/OS PTF application and upgrades. While I neglected to mention them in my recent article, image catalogs can be a godsend for saving time on a system upgrade. If you’re interested in getting started with image catalogs for installation and maintenance, here’s the drill I would follow.
For i/OS V5R4Mx, IBM offers a fairly decent tutorial on creating and using a virtual optical storage device that can be used to load upgrades and PTFs from an image catalog. Many of the techniques shown in that tutorial also apply to other operating system versions with some variations. The following steps are involved in creating and using image catalogs and virtual optical storage devices for upgrades, PTFs, and other media-based functions.
1. Create an image catalog that will be used to load and store installation image files. You create your image catalog by using the green-screen Create Image Catalog (CRTIMGCLG) command.
2. Retrieve your installation media from CDs, DVDs, FTP PTF downloads, or other image files. Load your installation image files into an image catalog by using the Add Image Catalog Entry (ADDIMGCLGE) command. You can add several entries to your image catalog from a number of different physical or image file sources.
3. Create a virtual optical device by using the Create Device Description (CRTDEVOPT) command. This device is not attached to a physical optical drive but it can be used to install software the same way a physical reader can be used. Note that as with any other i/OS device, it will need to be varied on in order to be used. After the virtual optical device is created, associate it with the image catalog containing your image media by using the Load Image Catalog (LODIMGCLG) command.
4. To work with all the image catalogs on your system, you can also use the Work with Image Catalogs (WRKIMGCLG) command, as shown below.
On this screen, you can do the following with the image catalogs on your system. Many of these options use the same commands I mentioned above.
After the images are loaded, attached to a virtual optical drive, and verified, you can use your virtual device to upgrade your operating system, load PTFs, or perform another type of install.
The other nice thing about setting up image catalogs for PTF installation or system upgrades is that the catalogs can be saved and restored between systems. So if you’re applying PTFs for a trio of partitions that are used for production, development, and Capacity BackUp (CBU) systems, you can create, use, and save the image catalog object (*IMGCLG) and the actual images in the AS/400 IFS to a save file. After saving, you can transfer the image catalog to another system through FTP or another method, restore the catalog on that system, and then apply your images again through another virtual optical device. On its support portal, IBM offers a decent document on Saving and Restoring an Image Catalog and Its Images to Another System.
So even though I neglected to mention them in my previous article, I think image catalogs are another great way to prevent Power i upgrades from slowing down.