This document clarifies the AIX Maintenance Strategy by detailing fileset versions, Program Temporary Fix (PTF) and preventive maintenance packages. To ensure the integrity of installed software in the AIX operating system, a method is necessary to track and maintain updates to the system. This method is the Maintenance Strategy and can be summarized as "upward only."
The information in this document applies to all versions of AIX.
The product documentation library is also available at the following URL:
The following chart shows the difference between a maintenance release and a PTF (corrective service). Each x represents a single fileset of AIX (such as bos.mp).
(1) (2) (3) VRMF Base Install Base Install + Base Install + Maintenance Release Maintenance Release + PTFs 432 x x x 431 xxxxxx xxxxxx xxxxxx xxxxxx xxxxxx xxxxxx 430 xxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxx OSLEVEL 4.3.0 4.3.1 4.3.1
NOTE: Some filesets remain 4.3.0 because the fileset did not change as part of the 4.3.1 maintenance release.
"Recommended maintenance" is a set of PTFs applied on top of a maintenance release. While a maintenance release increases the third portion of the VRMF, the recommended maintenance does not. More specifically, recommended maintenance is a set of PTFs that have been tested together and have enough test or field experience to be recommended for preventive maintenance.
See the chart below:
(1) (2) (3) (4) AIX 4.3.1 AIX 4.3.2 AIX 4.3.1-01 AIX 4.3.1 w/PTFs 432 xxxxxxx x xxxxxxx xx x x xxxxxxx xxxx x xxxx x 431 xxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxx
PTFs (Corrective Service) are applied to correct or prevent a particular problem. PTFs undergo testing for the particular problem they are designed to correct and regression testing to prevent introduction of new problems. However, PTFs are not tested as extensively as a maintenance release or recommended maintenance. PTFs should only be applied to correct or prevent a critical problem.
See the chart below:
(1) (2) (3) AIX 4.3.1 Desired Fix Resulting System 432 x xx x xxx 431 xxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxx
AIX installation architecture assumes that any fileset update with a higher VRMF level contains the updates from all previous updates to the same fileset. In order to prevent updates from being removed, an "upward only" strategy is used. Because AIX 4.3.2 is considered higher than any level of AIX 4.3.1, you cannot create a fix for AIX 4.3.1 that 184.108.40.206 does not already contain.
For example, bos.mp.220.127.116.11 contains defect X, which is corrected by installing 18.104.22.168. Later we find this same defect exist in bos.mp.22.214.171.124, which was highest at the time it was created. So, if we create a bos.mp.126.96.36.199 to correct this defect, a customer could at a later time install bos.mp.188.8.131.52 and reintroduce the defect. In addition, the system would insist that the fix for that defect is already installed.
Therefore, the upward only requirement necessitates that the fileset be taken to bos.mp.184.108.40.206. This could, however, require other filesets to be updated as well.
Typically, customers have two options for ordering fix packages. Each of these has advantages over the other, as detailed below.
To determine the maintenance release installed, enter the following command:
To determine which filesets need updating for the system to reach a specific maintenance release (in this example, 220.127.116.11), enter the following:
oslevel -l 18.104.22.168
To determine if a recommended maintenance package is installed (in this example, 22.214.171.124-02), enter:
instfix -ik 433-02_AIX_ML
To determine which filesets need updating for the system to reach the 126.96.36.199-02 level, enter:
instfix -ciqk 4330-02_AIX_ML | grep ":-:"
IBM supports AIX base on the Version.Release. Therefore, the customer purchases support based on the Version.Release of AIX, not the maintenance level. For instance, if you have purchased AIX 4.3, you will receive support for all releases of AIX 4.3 (4.3.1, 4.3.2, 4.3.2 4.3.x, etc.).
NOTE: Updating from one Version.Release to another requires a new license and involves some cost.
Maintenance levels, recommended maintenance, and PTFs are free. You can obtain each of these electronically, at no charge, from ftp and web sites (see http://techsupport.services.ibm.com).
Fee based services (such as phone support), may charge for the convenience of their support, but the code itself is free.
In many cases, the fees are monthly and do not attach additional costs for making multiple calls to support centers. Some locations,
however, may charge for media if you request the code be sent to you on tape or CD.
[ Doc Ref: 9580572862128 Publish Date: Oct. 02, 2000 4FAX Ref: 8565 ]