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IPL automation overview

Initial Program Load (IPL) automation provides a way to coordinate automation between the management console (HMC) and the target console CCS session to execute an orderly shutdown and IPLing of a mainframe LPAR.

An IPL configuration consists of two major parts: an IPL template and an IPL configuration.

The IPL template contains commands and rules to automate a generalized shutdown and IPLing. The IPL configuration defines the management console and the target console CCS session as well as any other parameters required for the IPL. Parameters such as the load address and load parameters may be specified in the configuration. In addition to the commands and rules, when the IPL automation engine encounters a timeout or error, actions are executed. These actions are the same actions available to form rules.

An IPL template defines a set of phases or states that a mainframe system progresses through when shutting down and IPLing. 

Each state contains:

  • One or more commands that get executed when entered
  • A set of rules that are applied to the management session and console session for the system being IPLed
  • A timeout value. When the timeout is reached, the automated IPL aborts, and the error actions are executed. 

An IPL configuration makes use of a template and defines the consoles session and the management console. It can be started with an RDL2 function that can be triggered by an operating system message, an operator using an BMC AMI Console Automation viewer, or from a scheduled task.

When an automated IPL is started, SecureHMC examines the status of the target system (operating, not-operating, or not-activated and so on) to determine which state to start with. When the initial state is entered, the entry commands for that state are sent to the target console or management console. 

As messages are received from the console and target console, the rules for that state are executed. If the action for one of the rules is Change State, that current state is exited, and the next state entered. The entry commands for the new state, and the process repeats until the next state is #finish.

Templates may be used for IPLing many mainframe systems. Information within the template may contain replaceable parameters that are filled in when the IPL configuration is merged with the template. The replaceable parameters are:

  • %name%
  • %cpc%
  • %lpar%
  • %hmcsession%
  • %consolesession%
  • %deactivate%
  • %loadaddress%
  • %loadparameter%
  • %loadtimeout%
  • %zvm-host% 
  • %zvm-guest% 

IPL Templates

The IPL Templates page shows the list of templates available for use. Except for templates delivered with SecureHMC, templates may be edited, copied, deleted and exported.

IPL Templates

New template

The IPL Templates page enables you to create a new template.

To create a new template:

  1. Click New Template.
  2. Select the IPL type.
    1. If you select LPAR, SecureHMC sends commands to the HMC to manage an LPAR (or PR/SM) system.

    2. If you select z/VM Guest, SecureHMC sends commands to the IBM z/VM system that hosts a guest operating system.

  3. Enter a template name.
  4. Enter an overview.
  5. Define the following states for the LPAR:
    • Operating
    • Not Operating
    • Not Activated

Editing a template

To modify a template, click the Edit icon in the table. The templates delivered with SecureHMC may not be edited. To edit a delivered template, copy it and edit the copy.

Edit IPL Templates

Editing a template

Add New State

Remove State

Click the icon at the bottom of the list of states.

Rename State

Click the pencil (edit) icon at the bottom of the list of states.

Entry Commands

Each state may have commands that are executed when the state is entered. To enter commands, select the desired state, click the Commands tab (if it isn’t already selected) and click Add Command

Edit Command

Edit Command

Commands may be either sent to the target console or to the management console. Select which type of command will be sent. For console commands or z/VM host commands, enter the command. For HMC commands, select the operation and enter the appropriate information. 


Rules may be assigned to the target console and management console sessions that will be active only for that state. To manage the rule assignments for the state, click on the Rules tab. Click the Assign Rules button to select which rules to assign to the state. Rules may be created and edited here as well. 


Create a New Template

A new template may be created by clicking the New Template button.  Once the template is created, the Edit Template dialog is displayed.

Delete Template

Click the delete icon to delete the template. The template will no longer be available for use.

Export Template

Templates may be exported by clicking the export icon. The web browser will then save the file to your local computer.

Import Template

A previously exported template may be imported by clicking the Import Template button, selecting the file and uploading the file. The imported template will then be displayed in the template list.

For more information on IPL automation, see IPL automation configuration.

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