IBM i Technology Refreshes and PTFs: Be Careful
October 24, 2011 Timothy Prickett Morgan
Starting last year, IBM started doing what it calls Technology Rrefreshes for the IBM i operating system that provide support for new systems and peripherals as they come to market. These Technology Refreshes are numbered–TR3 came out on October 12 with the new Power Systems servers–so you can keep track of them. But it may not be entirely obvious how you should deal with them if you are used to patching your system with PTFs.
Doug Bidwell, who puts together the System i PTF Guide that is published at IT Jungle, offers some insight and advice:
The latest technology refresh on 710 (SF99707, Level 3) needs to be applied and the system IPLed prior to the latest Cume for V710 (SF99710, C1270719) being applied, Bidwell explained to me. I asked him if the TR3 was mandatory for the latest cumulative PTF patch, and this is what he said:
No, the refresh is not mandatory for the cume. However, the cume has fixes in it for the stuff on the Technology Refresh. So the best way to go about this is install all other groups except the Technology Refresh and latest cume, and then IPL. Then install the Technology Refresh, and IPL again. Then install the latest cume, and then IPL.
(Understand, the abbreviation “cume” for cumulative is a misnomer. In most cases, it does not contain the PTFs that are in the other groups. Also, since the Technology Refresh adds the ability to make use of new technology once it is added to your system, the cume would have fixes in it that would apply to that new technology.)
What IBM is saying is that if you put this stuff on in the correct sequence, you should have no issues. If you put the cume on, then the Technology Refresh, fixes to enable what is in the Technology Refresh won’t be put down. You will need to re-apply the cume. It’s not good or bad, just different, and if done out of sequence, potentially a big problem for the customer.
Another method for putting on the technology refresh is by ordering the latest Resave Base CD and slipping the licensed internal code. See this link for how to do that.