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System i skipping directly to V7R1

Posted on 2011-05-11
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I have a Model 800 running V5R2 and looking to get a new Power7 box with 7.1  Mainly the only thing that will be moved over is the home grown software.  Mostly all RPGLE and CLP programs and a few RPG.  We are being told that we can not skip directly to 7.1 and I am looking for some more counsel.

We did a test and restored the data and program libraries directly to a i5 520 running version 6.1 and everything restored and worked great.

Let me know if you need anymore information.

Thanks,
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Question by:DCS12
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Gary Patterson earned 668 total points
ID: 35738562
Upgrading and migrating from V5R2 to V6R1 is supported by IBM.  Directly upgrading or migrating from V5R3 and sooner to V7R1 is not supported.  

Those earlier OS versions are out of support, so IBM doesn't build the tools that would be needed to upgrade these OS releases to V7R1.

For an upgrade (new OS installed onto existing machine) or a migration (moving programs and data from one machine to another), you must start from a V5R4 or V6R1 system in order to perform an upgrade or migration to V7R1.  If you're coming from V5R2, you'll need to perform an intermediate upgrade or migration to V5R4, and then upgrade or migrate to V7R1.

All of the rules and procedures are documented clearly in the IBM Information Center.  I also linked to the PDF version of the Install, Upgrade, Migrate manual, and the V7R1 Memo To Users:

Upgrades and migrations can be complicated.  It depends on the products, tools, hardware, and applications in use on your systems.  Just as one tiny little example, the IBM Licensed program Facsimilie Support for iSeries (5798-FAX) is not supported under V7R1.  You need to follow the upgrade planning process that IBM documents step-by-step:

V7R1 Information Center:  http://publib.boulder.ibm.com/infocenter/iseries/v7r1m0/index.jsp?topic=/rzahc/rzahc1.htm
V7R1 Install, Upgrade, Migrate manual: http://publib.boulder.ibm.com/infocenter/iseries/v7r1m0/topic/rzahc/sc415120.pdf
V7R1 Memo to Users: http://publib.boulder.ibm.com/infocenter/iseries/v7r1m0/topic/rzahg/rzahgmtu.htm

Here;s a nice IBM Support Document that points you to the right documentation resources for performing various types of installations, upgrades, migrations, and restores to various target versions.  You will need to review documentation for V5R3, V5R4, V6R1, and V7R1 since you are skipping so many releases:

https://www-304.ibm.com/support/docview.wss?uid=nas1b6c5ed39e84670648625740f007c74e3

- Gary Patterson
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by:tliotta
tliotta earned 664 total points
ID: 35741189
One kind of problem with skipping too many releases is that security-related internal structures often change between releases. You can see some evidence in the documentation for the Retrieve Encrypted Password API where there is a warning not to expect it to work across multiple releases.

It's possible to write migration programs that account for all structural changes across many releases, but each release increases infeasibility. Wherever any encrypted values might exist, even a single bit-field difference can render the data unreadable.

That's also true for non-encrypted data, though at lesser complexity. Numerous internal structures use bit-level fields. The tiniest error can be disastrous.

IBM does okay at directly supporting upgrades/migrations across multiple releases. At some point though, cost/benefit gets out of hand.

From V5R2 to i 7.1, I would expect that you would have access to both systems for a while. Is that likely?

Tom
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Author Comment

by:DCS12
ID: 35741745
All we are talking about doing is saving and restoring 5 libraries.  Two contain data files and three contain the DDS, RPG, RPGLE and CLP programs we have written over the years.  If we need to recompile any programs that is not a problem.  

No security is being migrated, we are entering in the user profiles as there are only 10.  Nothing is encrypted and yes we will have both systems once we get the new one.  The old one is not going anywhere.  
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by:tliotta
ID: 35741901
If user profiles aren't being saved/restored (and therefore authorities), there shouldn't be much problem with saving/restoring basic libraries.

With both systems sitting on a local network, it seems probable that this can be a fairly painless process.

When hearing about migrations, I tend to see more complex scenarios. (I'm comfortable saying that Gary does, too.)

Tom
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by:Gary Patterson
ID: 35742101
I understand you want someone to say "Don't worry about following the proper migration process - since you have a simple migration it should work just fine."

I just can't tell you that.  I have no idea what functions, utilities, and types of system objects you use.  I ahve no idea about your coding and compiling practices.  I have no idea if you use utilities or LPPs that don't exist or run under V7R1.

That's why you need to follow the migration roadmap: to identify any possible problems before it is too late.

A simple backup/restore might work.  Also might not.  Needless to say, the simpler the migration, the better chance that you won't have a disaster on your hands if you skip steps.

Either way, IBM doesn't support a direct migration, so you won't get much help from them if something goes wrong if you don't follow the documented migration process.

If the libraries restored and objects and programs converted properly to V6R1, there's a chance the same will happen in V7R1.  The only way for you to know is to test it, however.

Over the years, I've done countless installs, upgrades, restores, and migrations, and the lesson that I've learned is to FOLLOW THE INSTRUCTIONS.  Ignore IBM's migration process at your own peril.

- Gary Patterson
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by:tliotta
ID: 35743605
Gary's concerns are completely valid, though the same concerns will exist no matter what your migration path is. If utilities or LPPs or whatever are used and needed at V5R2, they'll also be needed at V5R3 or anywhere else up the path.

What you don't restore (or don't install) won't be there after the migration.

Programs that won't convert for i 6.1 won't convert for i 7.1. Programs that have observability or that were compiled at V5R1 or later should be okay. If you have the source and can recompile (assuming the compilers are installed), even unconvertible programs can be handled.

But none of that relieves the need to read the Memo to Users for each release and to attend to any programming changes needed for the new release. A number of difficult issues arose during V5R3 and V5R4 over how CCSIDs were enforced and handled for IFS streamfiles for example. You'd have to handle those if you migrated to V5R4 rather than i 7.1 and you'll need to handle them the same ways if you go straight to i 7.1.

Personally, I normally wouldn't want to do it any way but through V5R4 as an intermediate step. But having both systems available for any extended period while not needing security data (profiles/authorities/ownership) removes a lot of potential problem sources. The system facilities at i 7.1 have some improvements that could make any needed changes easier to do. If changes must be made, they might as well be made up to the newest standards. They'll have to be made no matter what if application problems arise and the potential for having to make two sets of changes is mostly eliminated.

Do not plan to switch from V5R2 for a while. Expect to do the same set of migration steps at least twice -- don't be surprised if at least your data libraries must be deleted and brought over again with fresh data and possibly some changed programs. Record your steps with the intention of doing them again. (Appoint a journalist.)

Given both systems availability, there is no reason not to run a trial migration as soon as it can be done. There is no way you will find out faster where the problems might be.

In the meantime, read the relevant documentation on the releases (the Memos in particular), and create base plan steps from the migration guide.

Tom
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by:stevebowdoin
stevebowdoin earned 668 total points
ID: 35743841
I have worked on applications that could have been moved to a new machine like you want to do.  

The fact that you restored to a 6.1 machine means you did not have any problems with object conversion.

I would be a good idea to have some 5.4 media ready.  If your plan does not work you can upgrade the 800 to 5.4.  Then upgrade to 7.1 on the 800.  That will let you follow the instructions and migrate to the new box.  If you have a long weekend and guts you can do it with only one backup.

If the 800 has a 1/4“  tape drive you may be able to move your libs over the wire faster than tape.

I would give it a shot.   No promises.

Steve

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Author Closing Comment

by:DCS12
ID: 35746031
Thanks for all your input.  I should have been more clear on my question.  I wasn't asking how I should do the move.  Just if it was possible to restore these libraries.  The one quoting us the new machine is adamant on telling us this is not possible because of the Power7 processor.  I just could not fully believe that.  I'm sure we will be on the old box for awhile until everything is fully tested out on the new one.

Thanks
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by:mkc451
ID: 35746101
I'm with the others on this, the best choice is the path Gary laid out.

Gary is right on the fact that a lot of bad things can happen if you don't follow the supported  procedures.  There are so many gotcha's migrating to such a different version you will have to be ready for problems.  You will have issues with a migration to V5R4 on the 800 if you don't have 17gb load sources on the 800, and other things.  

As I read you message, you are using a new V7R1 box and don't have to upgrade the 800 to V7R1. If that is true and all you have is home grown stuff and it restored to a V6R1 box ok, move it to V7R1 box, recreate your user ID's and go from there to get it right -- sounds like a viable way to proceed too. You might be just over thinking this. If you have the time, just make sure you have a full backup of the V7R1 box bare of all user data and experiment a little.

However often it's almost impossible to do it right. If you "absolutely can't do it the supported way", here is an option that does have some gotcha's... NOTHING BELOW IS RECOMMENDED IF YOU DON'T HAVE  A NEW V7R1 BOX .... I have been doing this 20+ years,  I would never recommend you attempt anything like this on a production box upgrade. With a new box, you can always rebuild if it doesn't work right.
============================================================================
Get a copy of the Backup & Recovery Guide for V4R5

http://publib.boulder.ibm.com/cgi-bin/bookmgr/DOCNUM/SC41-5304
http://www-01.ibm.com/support/docview.wss?uid=nas113487f07b117988c862576ba0073fccc  (APAR)

It also only works with boxes that have no user data on them, just OS and LIC PGM's.. so what I do is make a full system backup of the bare box so I can rebuild and retry if necessary.

-- in the guide, you will find a procedure #19 for migrating to a new box with a newer operating system. It's not supported any more, gone in V5 and beyond, but it will  handle users directory entry's, folders, IFS, etc.. it will "not" resolve issues with software that is not observable, unsupported upgrade paths for 3rd party software, etc... but it will get you users & data over to the new box.  The process has issues with Web instances, on V6R1 you need to bring over 2 HTTP files from a working V6R1box as it seems to corrupt them, so it's not fool proof by a long shot.  There is an APAR on the HTTP stuff.  Also I have had problems with back level on 5761SS1 Option #3 -- Extended Support, be ready to re-install that after you are done. Don't restore anything that begins with a "Q" to the QGPL either, unless you do it each obj separately and know what they are.

However this check list has worked for me numerous times, but I also have 20+ years experience in  migrating unsupported operating systems to new hardware. My customer base is such that I have to do this quite often. As a caveat,  I have not done a V7R1 with it, only up to V6R1 including a V5R1 to V6R1 migration 2 weeks ago. You mileage may vary and you might not have a sufficient skill set, but if you need to do it that way - the documented procedure I gave will give a big head start.

Michael Cody
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by:tliotta
ID: 35751509
We did a test and restored the data and program libraries directly to a i5 520 running version 6.1 and everything restored and worked great.

BTW, you didn't happen to resave the program libraries after programs ran on 6.1, did you?

Tom
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Author Comment

by:DCS12
ID: 35753291
I did to save files, but not tape.
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by:tliotta
ID: 35756584
I did to save files, but not tape.

If those savefiles are available, they might be your best starting point for restores. I'm not clear on whether the 'tape' reference means the savefiles went away with 6.1. But if you could get everything running acceptably on i 6.1, it should be a similar bit of work on i 7.1.

Tom
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