I appreciate all the input, helps me build my case.
I agree that IPL with PTF apply needs to be done every 2 to 4 months.
I prefer 2 months, if possible.
On our Production LPAR, all SSD drives, I have IPL with PTF apply under 15 minutes.
Dedicated system save using multiple LTO5 HH fiber drives under 2 hours.
That's 2 hour 15 minute down time once every 2 months, between 23:00 and 2:00 am.
In my book, should be very acceptable, with a high level of system recovery if needed.

When you and others state "load and run" specifically what do you mean?

On a side related issue, I had a LTO 5 HH fiber drive replaced today. On production LPAR, following the replacement, the drive would not "report in" properly under TAPMLB01, only as a standalone device.
On R&D LPAR, drive reported in fine.
R&D LPAR was more current with PTFs.
After 3 hours on with support, DLPAR multiple 577D from LPAR to LPAR, we got the drive to report in properly by DLPAR the 577Ds to opposite LPAR.

Here's the summary from IBM support.
- It appears that the production box(pencor 05) is experiencing unpredictable/intermittent issues regarding the handling of grouping tape devices together under one library, dealing with D'LPAR'd IOP devices, and so forth. This is most likely a direct result of there being a PTF mismatch in tape code between Pencor6 and Pencor5 which are both sharing the same Tape Library. It is a standard recommendation that all systems using the same tape library that use virtual IOP's have equivalent PTF levels, otherwise you can experience issues like this.

- We found in our testing that we could move the IOP on system bus 305 over to pencor5 and it would work fine, but moving IOP on bus 286 was not working correctly. 286 worked fine on Pencor6 though, so we decided to leave 305 on 5 and 286 on 6 as a temporary workaround until you can apply the recommended virtual IOP/Fiber Tape PTF's that I sent you.


-----Original Message-----
From: MIDRANGE-L [mailto:midrange-l-bounces@xxxxxxxxxxxx] On Behalf Of DrFranken
Sent: Thursday, June 05, 2014 8:05 AM
To: Midrange Systems Technical Discussion
Subject: Re: PTF apply philosophyies

I do a LOT of PTFs and spoken to many of the fine folks at IBM re PTFs and the process.

First off it has been stated that MANY PTFs simply require an IPL. The objects being replaced simply cannot be updated at any other time as they are always in use or otherwise locked. A claim of 90% of PTFs can be applied immediately doesn't align with what I see. I suppose it's possible in fact but with all the pre and co requisite PTFs all it takes is one PTF in the 'set' to require an IPL and the other PTFs are stuck so effectively all the PTFs require an IPL.

I have heard several times that using *IMMDLY (Immediate if possible, Delayed to IPL when mandatory) Is NOT recommended for any PTF Groups including CUMEs. It's essentially impossible to read every cover letter and deal with all the special instructions. Failure to follow the special instructions can mean many things, not the least of which is that many of the PTFs that APPEAR to be applied are not active until an action is taken, frequently the action is to IPL (which I find annoying!)

I do concur with other comments that if you are not provided sufficient time for backups, PTFs, and other maintenance then having an HA system is near mandatory. Clearly NOT doing PTFs and proper saves is just a system crash looking for a bad time to occur. If time is so short when you DO get a window that any problems push you into being considered an outage that also is 'living on the edge'. Also consider making your load source disk an SSD, this will 'enhance PTF apply performance.'

Generally I do like load and run Temp and SAVE 22. Run for perhaps 2 or
3 months. Then perm apply all and SAVE 22. Then repeat as necessary.

- Larry "DrFranken" Bolhuis

On 6/4/2014 11:56 AM, Steinmetz, Paul wrote:

Management would like to minimize the IPL, PTF, and system save downtimes.
HA/DR Is out of the question.
Currently, I try to IPL Production every 2 months for PTF apply along with a system save.
The IPL and system save will probably go to 6 months or as needed.
90% of PTFs can be applied immediately without an IPL, however IBM does not recommend immediate apply for more than a single PTF.
Applying a large amount of PTFs immediately has caused issues in the past.
Permission has been granted for the PTF immediate apply, but I'm weary from previous issues.

Any thoughts from the group.

Thank You
Paul Steinmetz
IBM i Systems Administrator

Pencor Services, Inc.
462 Delaware Ave
Palmerton Pa 18071

610-826-9117 work
610-826-9188 fax
610-349-0913 cell
610-377-6012 home


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