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Does AIX classify their patches and what is the release schedule?

Posted on 2005-03-17
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I'm putting together a paper on the different patch processes for various operating systems.

I need to get two questions answered.

1. How does AIX classify their patches?
2. What is the patch release schedule for AIX?

For Microsoft it's easy, Microsoft releases their patches on the 2nd Tuesday of each month and rates their patches as:

- Critical
- Important
- Moderate
- Low

Does AIX employ a similar rating? How often does AIX release updated patches?

Thanks for the help

Josh
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Question by:JoshFink
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14 Comments
 
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cpc2004 earned 2000 total points
ID: 13567177
1. AIX rates their patch as hyper and low impact. Every month IBM will e-mail the hyper patches for 5.1 to 5.2 as it is special request for our company. Usually IBM does not email the hyper patches to their customers.
2. AIX does not have the regular schedule of the each Maintenance level.  The current ML for AIX 5.2 is ML5 and forAIX 5.1 is ML7. You need to visit IBM website to find which ML is the most current.
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Author Comment

by:JoshFink
ID: 13567234
Thanks for the help.. A little more clarification if you could...

So AIX only has two levels of patches. Hyper and Low.. Do they have any kind of description associated with these? I.e. Hyper needs to be installed now or something like that?

As for the ML's.. These are basically patch rollups? Is that correct? All the patches for a certain period are rolled up into one major ML?

Thanks

Josh
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by:cpc2004
ID: 13567276
Two years we started to publish a consolidated system software for Windows, AIX, Solaris and OS400 at quarterly basis. We also include the the system software Oracle, Sybase, DB2, WebSphare, Connect-direct, control-m, Veritas, HACMP, MQ and etc.  
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Author Comment

by:JoshFink
ID: 13567301
I'm not sure what you mean by the above comment. Was that directed to me?
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by:cpc2004
ID: 13567390
The description of the patch has a field to identidy whether it is hyper or normal. Usually IBM recommed their customesr to apply all the hyperbatches. However we have over 100 AIX servers and it is very difficult to apply the hyperbatches for all the servers with one month.

Some hyperpatches may not have impact to your installation. For example it is may be related to new hardware device or software product. If you don't have the such hardware device or software product and it is no need to install.  
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Author Comment

by:JoshFink
ID: 13567413
Thanks for the post.. That's great.

Can you elaborate a little more on my second question.

<<
As for the ML's.. These are basically patch rollups? Is that correct? All the patches for a certain period are rolled up into one major ML?
>>
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by:gheist
ID: 13568341
They fix all APAR's up to date. They do not rock or roll. You have to read APAR list that applies and decide if it applies to your particular installation.

Immediate hotfixes for accute problems usually appear here
ftp://ftp.software.ibm.com/aix/fixes/
right in time when security advisory comes out ( with bff fix later )

You can download only some bff-s as a solution for your APAR when instructed by support ( for example some software may ask for AIX 5.2 and IX54321 fixed, this basically means that you can use any ML which includes IX54321, or just get all dependent bffs to update 5.2 with particular fix)

Less problems are encountered when you apply latest ML on fresh install before installing custom software.


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by:gheist
ID: 13568358
smitty had nice menu with applied APAR-s, you just press / there and type your number.
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by:cpc2004
cpc2004 earned 2000 total points
ID: 13571522
AIX Fixes identified as critical may also be classified as HIPER, PE, security or may warrant special awareness. While the information here can be helpful in determining if a fix should be applied, parts or all of it may not be applicable to your environment.

http://www-1.ibm.com/servers/eserver/support/pseries/criticalfixes.html

You can find the AIX patches from IBM WebSite.  For example Fix PQ62865 and it is a hiper fix

APAR information
APAR number PQ62865
Reported component name CICS TRANS GATE
Reported component ID 5724A7500
Reported release 400
Status CLOSED PER
PE NoPE
HIPER NoHIPER <---  Not a hyper patcj
Submitted date 2002-07-03
Closed date 2003-01-17
Last modified date 2003-01-17
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by:cpc2004
cpc2004 earned 2000 total points
ID: 13571532
HIPER - Critical
PE - PTF in error (the fix has error)
Security - Fix for Security issue
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Author Comment

by:JoshFink
ID: 13575078
So, the release schedule for AIX patches is basically just whenever there is a patch they release it, correct?

Josh
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Expert Comment

by:gheist
ID: 13576520
But not everyone needs each of them. Most installations can use maintenance packages.
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Author Comment

by:JoshFink
ID: 13596213
Can you explain PE - PTF in error a little more for me?

Also, from reading through the APAR there seems to be 2 classifications, HIPER or PE. I don't see anything about Security. How can you tell if it's a security fix? I would think there are only 2 classifications.

Thanks

Josh
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by:gheist
ID: 13600016
Consider all as security related.
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