IBM i PTF Guide, Volume 20, Number 2
January 17, 2018 Doug Bidwell
Spectre and Meltdown. Just the names are scary, and kind of remind you of a James Bond thriller! From an IBM i perspective, we should be ready, but hold on just a little bit longer until the story plays out. There is a licensed internal code, or LIC, PTF out for each of the release:
These can be ordered individually, but are not as yet included in either the HIPER or Security PTF Groups. (That seems strange!)
In the cover letters for the LIC PTFs, it states that they can be put on with an IPL, but do not completely mitigate the issue(s) until the Power Systems firmware is patched as well. And then things get even more strange. There is a firmware patch for Power8 and Power7+ systems, but as firmware, not as we in IBM i Land would expect, in the form of an “MH” PTF. Those can require a disruptive install, meaning an IPL.
Our take on this is that research as to the overall impact of these anomalies is still being done, and, since an IPL is a non-trivial business impact in most cases these days, we are advocating patience for another week to see if we can get everything in one IPL. So, we know an IPL is going to be required and we can plan for it, but not download anything as yet. The firmware patch is available and can be reviewed, but the fix itself cannot be downloaded. That is a possible glitch in Fix Central, but, because I can’t get it to come down at this point, it’s one too many strange things at this point. So we are suggesting that everyone wait a week for the rest of the story to come our way. (Be sure to read other articles at IT Jungle for additional details.)
Meanwhile, there are actual HIPERs and Security PTFs in their respective groups that you should be aware of. Neither have anything to do with Spectre or Meltdown, but still worth putting on the system. Drill down through the GUI links to read the actual details.
As usual, we have included an archive of the IBM i PTF Guide to help you work through the PTFs in chronological order, which you can see below: