Big Blue Puts Out New Hardware PTF Group For IBM i 6.1 And 7.1
July 23, 2012 Timothy Prickett Morgan
Here’s a puzzler that we haven’t been able to sort out. There are two new hardware group PTFs that IBM put out last week that are not part of its Technology Refresh cycle and that don’t seem to be tied to cumulative releases of the IBM i 6.1 or 7.1 operating systems, either.
The PTF group is SF99705 for IBM i 7.1 (PDF) and SF99605 for IBM i 6.1 (PDF), and as best as we can tell here at IT Jungle, the PTF patches include firmware and Microsoft patches for drivers and licensed internal code that lives at the TIMI or lower layers in the system. Disk drive and disk adapter functions, including device parity protection, mirroring, hot sparing, concurrent maintenance, and multipathing are all covered, as are LAN and WAN adapters and cryptographic coprocessors. Higher level parts of the OS, such as the TCP/IP stack or high availability clustering, or any crashes that are a result of other parts of the system that need bug fixes, are not included in these hardware patches. Tape adapters and tape library drivers are not included in this group. The new hardware PTF group will be updated quarterly.
What is not clear is why IBM would break these hardware patches out separately from its Technology Release updates, which come two or three times a year. It may be that these areas change faster than the Technology Releases and therefore warrant faster patching.
If you have it puzzled out, let us know.
System i PTF Guide, from Doug Bidwell of DLB Associates