Improved patch management for AIX
In versions earlier than BMC Server Automation version 8.2, analyzing and deploying patches for IBM AIX targets caused the following problems:
- If you tried to install or upgrade patches from a technology level or service pack, the following issues occurred irrespective of whether the patches contained dependencies to base-level patch files:
- Patch Analysis displayed unnecessary dependency information and warnings.
- Patch Analysis succeeded but the patches could not be installed.
- You could not install a fresh package.
Starting with BMC Server Automation version 8.2, Patch Analysis displays accurate file dependency information and allows installation or upgrade of patches to target servers. If patches in the catalog require dependent files, those patches can be installed or upgraded if the dependent files are supplied.
Installing or upgrading patches from a technology level or service pack
To install or upgrade patches from a Technology Level or Service Pack, you must perform the following steps:
- Perform Patch Analysis to obtain dependency information.
If some of the patch files that you are upgrading or installing contain dependencies (dependent patch files or base patch files) that do not exist on the target server, the Analysis job run shows dependency log warning messages.
- For upgrades, the Analysis Job run warning message indicates that you can ignore the dependency log warning messages for those patches, and you could proceed with upgrading the missing patches. BMC recommends resolving upgrade warning messages as much as possible by providing the missing dependent or base patch files in a base repository location.
- For fresh package installations, the Analysis Job run message indicates that you could proceed with deploying those patches by ignoring the dependency log warning messages. To resolve the dependency log warning messages, you can provide the missing dependent or base patch files in a base repository location.
- To provide the missing dependent or base patch files, you can obtain the missing patch files from the media CD that IBM provides, by requesting the files from IBM, or through other means.After you have obtained the missing patch files, specify the base repository location as described in Specifying the base repository location and URL.
- Continue with Patch Analysis and Deployment to deploy the missing patches.
Specifying the base repository location and URL
Starting with BMC Server Automation version 8.2, the Catalog panel includes a new Base Repository Location option containing the following fields:
- Base Repository Location
NSH path to the location where base-level payload files are stored. Base-level payload files are not copied to the repository location.
- Base Repository Network URL
URL of the location where base-level metadata and payload files are stored. Specifying a value for this field is optional if you have selected the Copy to agent at staging option for the Network URL Type For Payload Deployment field.
If the patches that you require do not contain dependencies, you need not specify values for the Base Repository Location and Base Repository Network URL fields.
The new Base Repository Location option is shown in the following figure:
Viewing the missing patch filesets
The missing base filesets are added to the catalog as fileset ID filter. To view all the added base filesets, expand the Base Filesets smart group, shown in the following figure:
When you perform Patch Analysis, only base filesets that are required as dependencies are added to the catalog, as shown in the following figure:
After you upgrade the Application Server to BMC Server Automation version 8.2, you must update any AIX catalogs on versions earlier than 8.2.
Recommendations for AIX patching
BMC recommends the following actions for AIX patching:
- Irrespective of whether you are installing or upgrading patches, the base filesets are picked up and installed in case they are applicable and needed by one of the filesets in the catalog.
To prevent installation of unnecessary patches and to avoid potential file dependency conflicts, BMC recommends that you store the base filesets of only the needed packages in the base repository instead of storing all the available base filesets there.
- In some cases, including the missing base filesets might introduce dependency conflicts, thereby preventing deployment of the patches. For example, csm.client 22.214.171.124 requires csm.client 126.96.36.199. However, including csm.client 188.8.131.52 introduces dependency conflicts and prevents csm.client 184.108.40.206 from being deployed.
- To avoid dependency conflicts between different technology levels and service packs, BMC recommends that you create separate base repositories for different technology levels and service packs.
- To avoid potential dependency conflicts, BMC recommends that you clean the repository location — that is, manually delete irrelevant patches from the repository location — before you change the filters of an existing catalog.