Mt Xia: Technical Consulting Group

Business Continuity / Disaster Recovery / High Availability
Data Center Automation / Audit Response / Audit Compliance

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Automated AIX Deployment
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Automated Microcode Management System (AMMS)
for IBM RS/6000, pSeries, AIX systems

The AMMS software is included in the vLPARtm automated deployment appliance

  • Automatically determine firmware/microcode requirements on any AIX systems
  • Automatically download firmware/microcode updates from IBM
  • Automatically upload firmware/microcode updates to remote systems
  • Automatically prepare remote systems for new firmware/microcode installation
  • Automatically generate IBM Microcode Discovery Service reports
  • Automatically notify administrator of systems prepared for firmware/microcode update
  • Automatically schedule firmware/microcode update through external change control system
  • Mechanism works with or without HMC (does not require or utilize HMC)
  • Example Reports


One of the most difficult administration tasks in an AIX environment is attempting to keep the firmware and microcode up-to-date. Mt Xia has devised an automated method of gathering the Microcode information, determining which microcode needs to be updated, generating reports, and uploading the required microcode updates to each individual system.

NOTE:This automated firmware/microcode update and reporting system works with or without an HMC.

This firmware and microcode management system can be scheduled to run on a daily, weekly, monthly, or any other periodic basis to determine which system require firmware/microcode updates, what firmware/microcode is required, retrieve only that firmware/microcode, upload the firmware/microcode to each individual system, and prepare the system for the firmware/microcode update.

If desired, this firmware/microcode management system can be configured to notify the administrator of systems that have been prepared for firmware/microcode updates, and automatically send a change request to schedule the firmware/microcode update.

This software is FREE to Mt Xia clients: Example Reports

The automated microcode management system consists of multiple components, the main controller providing the following options:

Program: amms

Automatically generates an inventory scout file on a remote machine
and uploads that file to the IBM Microcode Discovery Service, then
generates a report in HTML format.

Usage: amms [-?] [-vV] [-cdglrtM] [-m MDSreportDir] [-u sshUser] 
            [-w webUser] [-W webHost] [-x webDir] [-s wgetTimeout]
            [-f systemListFile | systemName...]
    Where:
        -c = Retrieve latest microcode catalog only
        -l = Use lynx to extract microcode URLs from MDS reports
        -M = Enable "menugen" web site generator compatibility mode
             See http://www.mtxia.com/css/Downloads/Documentation/
        -m directory = Local directory for storage of MDS reports
        -u username  = SSH user with password-less login access to systemName
        -w username  = SSH user with password-less login access to WEB Server
        -d = Do NOT upload documents to web server
        -g = Do NOT generate MDS report
        -r = Do NOT retrieve microcode from IBM site
        -t = Do NOT transfer microcode to systemName
        -W = Hostname of Web server for generated HTML documents
        -x = Remote web server directory for HTML document storage
        -s # = Timeout value in seconds for "wget" program
        -v = Verbose Mode
        -V = Very Verbose Mode
        -f systemListFile = List of remote system names and 
                            optionally, communication paths

Example: amms systemName systemName systemname

Author: Dana French (dfrench@mtxia.com)
        Copyright 2006 by Dana French

"AutoContent" enabled

Program Description: amms

Automatically generates an inventory scout file on a remote machine and uploads that file to the IBM Microcode Discovery Service, then generates a report in HTML format.

From the MDS microcode report, this script extracts the URLs associated with the microcode recommended for update, then downloads that microcode and README files from the IBM web site. Once downloaded, the microcode is then uploaded to the remote system in preparation for upgrade.

Those systems with recommended updates are documented and these documents, along with the MDS reports are uploaded to a user specified web server location.

Remote system names for which to gather microcode information may be specified on the end of the command line, or may be entered into a file and the file specified on the command line.

If specifying system names on the command line, the names must be the same as the "hostname" on the remote system. If the DNS hostname is different than the name of the remote system, then the user must create a sysname:commname pair for each system and store this list in a file. This is common in an HACMP environment where the system may have multiple names associated with service, boot, standby, and persistant addresses.

If the system list file is used, it can be specified using the "-f" option on the command line. The "sysname" refers to the name of the remote system. The "commname" refers to the DNS hostname used to access the remote system. The "sysname:commname" pairs may be delimited by a space, tab, colon, pipe, or comma such as:

  hostname01:hostname01-boot
  hostname02:hostname02-boot
  hostname03:hostname03-boot

System name may be specified in the system list file without a "commname" if desired, such as:

  hostname01
  hostname02
  hostname03

Please contact Dana French at Mt Xia for further information.

Dana French
President: Mt Xia Technical Consulting Group
dfrench@mtxia.com
Phone: 615.556.0456

Contact Mt Xia for help in automating your microcode management at 615.556.0456 or dfrench@mtxia.com