If you're at less than V5R4 then I wouldn't upgrade. If you're at V5R4M0
I may migrate to V5R4M5. If only to be able to do a full system restore
on those machines that could run V5R4M5 but not V5R4M0. (If there's a
small chance these tapes may be used to resurrect the system after the old
one goes out the door.) M0 to M5 has it's own special instructions in the
upgrade guide (also useful for upgrading to new resaves). But otherwise I
wouldn't do it. I may be tempted to put on PTF's and whatnot.
Will new PTF's fix it? Possibly. However, the sporadic nature of it
could be due to other factors. Especially if this used to work fine but
just started happening. Factors such as:
- tape wear
- drive head wear
- other drive wear
- cable connections wearing or having been recently jarred
- card, bus, etc issues.
We have some lpars that only get backed up to tape once a quarter. It had
gotten so bad it was considered miraculous to get through a whole save. We
changed from SCSI tape to fiber tape and from LTO3 to LTO4. This changed:
- IOA cards
- All cables
- All tape drives in the library
- All tape volumes.
That was quite effective.
Did you know that tape libraries, and the drives themselves, often have
their own firmware? On my LTO libraries I use the web interface to the
library to upgrade the firmware on the library and on the drives. I hear
tell there's some strange way on some libraries to read it from tape.
When you put on a MF* ptf it may upgrade the firmware on the IOA or IOP
but not the tape drive or library. That requires different work.
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