Updating to HMC v9
Jaqui Lynch reviews HMC v9 updates, and explains how to upgrade your HMC to V9R2M950
As of Feb. 28, 2021 the HMC v9 releases and updates are as follows. There are patches within each service pack, but I’ve only listed the most recent ones for M921.
Versions EOSPS (end of service pack support)
Release V9R1M910 5/25/2018
Service pack V9R1M911 8/17/2018
Service pack V9R1M920 11/16/2018
Service pack V9R1M921 5/17/2019
Service Pack V9R1M930 11/9/2019
Service Pack V9R1M931 11/22/2019
Service Pack V9R1M940 5/22/2020
Service Pack V9R1M941 9/30/2021
Service Pack V9R1M942 9/30/2021
Service Pack V9R2M950 plus MH01881/MH01882
As of February 28, 2021, the only supported versions of the HMC code are V9R1M941, V9R1M942 (supported till 9/30/2021) and V9R2M950. Additionally, the BMC and PNOR for the HMC should be at v3.11_v3.20.
HMC v9 NotesHMC v9 is required by POWER9 servers and only supports POWER7 servers (at specific firmware levels) and higher in addition to the newer HMCs. The minimum HMC that can support the x86 code is a 7042-CR7 or 7042-OE1. The only POWER HMC available is the 7063-cr1. If you’re looking to replace an HMC or purchase a new one I recommend getting the Power HMC (7063-cr1) as the x86 HMC is no longer supported with V9R2M950, which is the minimum version that will be supported after 9/20/2021. It should also be noted that v9 only supports enhanced mode. Classic mode has gone away.
When performing updates, it’s important to pay attention to the README or description file for each update as they list prerequisites for VIO server levels, firmware, HMC hardware and more. These can be found through Fix Central or at the links in the references below. Since all versions of the VIO server prior to v3 are eoSPS (end of service pack support), it makes sense to ensure your VIO servers are at the latest v22.214.171.124. Finally, there’s an issue with V9R2M950 where it doesn’t support HMC user profiles names that are all numeric. Prior to any upgrade these should be changed or they will be deleted during the upgrade.
Location of Install CodeThere are multiple image types for the HMC code. Images can be obtained directly from IBM by using anonymous FTP to public.dhe.ibm.com. The starting directory is /software/server/hmc. From there, the images are broken down by type as follows:
Recovery images (used for initial install of 910): /software/server/hmc/recovery_images
In that directory, you will find multiple HMC recovery images. For v910, you will use either the x86 or the PPC one. They are:
For v9R2M950 the image is:
You can burn these ISO images to a DVD or a USB stick to install them
When burning to a USB stick I use Rufus v2. I also use that for burning bootable VIO images.
If you want to install across the network from an NFS server, the links to the code are:
You can download these images to your own FTP or NFS server or you can use getupgfiles directly from the HMC to bring the files in there. This is for using to upgrade to a new version only (v910 or V92). It’s not for service packs or fixes.
The upgrade can be done by pointing directly at the IBM website or you can download the code to a local ftp or sftp server and upgrade from there. I prefer downloading and using the image locally as I can then pre-stage the code and do not have to worry if the website will be up the day of my upgrade.
To apply service packs or patches, there’s a different set of directories. Service packs show up as ISO images in the updates directory:
As of right now, the service packs are in this directory for V9R1M942 (both x86 and PPC).
Patches show up as ISO images in the fixes directory:
This is where you will find the latest ifixes. For M950, you should see:
For M942 (x86) you should see: MH01879_x86.iso
There are patches for other levels. You can determine the patches you need by using fix central.
Upgrading Your HMC to V9R2M950The recovery image for V9R2M950 can be used to upgrade any 7063-cr1 HMC from V9R1 as long as it has MH01858 installed. There is also a mandatory ifix that should then be applied (MH01882). The upgrade process is fairly straightforward and is documented in the articles below in the references on upgrading. It will be a three step process:
- Get your HMC to the minimum level for the upgrade (v9.1 plus MH01858)
- Use getupgfiles to upgrade to V9R2M950
- Put on MH01882
BackupsThere are three kinds of backups I run on the HMC:
- Backup profile data
- Save upgrade data
- Backup console data to USB stick
PNOR and BMC UpgradeThe Power HMC has an additional step in the upgrade process. The HMC has its own firmware to be updated. There are two parts: the BMC and the PNOR. The latest as of June 2020 is v3.11_v3.20.
Upgrade to the Latest Version of HMC CodeSince M910 was released, there have been a number of significant updates to the HMC code. With all releases prior to V9R1M941 now out of service, this is the time to upgrade to the latest version of the HMC code. Given that V9R1 support ends September 30, 2021 this is also a good time to plan to replace your current HMC. The improvements in performance and functionality will make it well worth your while.
- Upgrading your POWER HMC Firmware
- Upgrading your HMC from v882
- Upgrading your HMC to V9
- BMC and PNOR UPDATE V3.11_V3.20
- HMC Enhanced Mode Documentation and Cheat Sheet
- Fix Central
- Entitled Software
- Flrtlite HMC Supported Levels
Other README FilesHMC V9 for x86
HMC V9 for PPC
About the author
Jaqui Lynch has over 38 years of experience working with a projects and OSes across vendor platforms, including IBM Z, UNIX systems and more.
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