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Why is it we can't just do patch upgrades lately?....

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Rita C Workman
Honored Contributor

Why is it we can't just do patch upgrades lately?....

I'm starting this thread to get the viewpoint from the ITRC Forums community.

In the past we upgraded our boxes O/S, be it cold install or update-ux and from then on we did patch upgrades and upgraded software to newer versions as separate required. Then more patches.

But lately, I'm seeing that we have to do full update-ux to upgrade things because this software must be loaded from this dated version of O/S...etc.etc.etc.

Why is this? Why can't we simply patch our boxes using something like 'swa' to get all the patches for all the software we need anymore. And run update-ux (or cold) when we really are updating the operating system?

I can understand that there might be exceptions when you do have to do this - but lately every time I turn around it seems to be seeing - update O/S to update the software!

Someone please explain the technical reason, or at least the absolute only times we HAVE to update O/S, cause this old lady is beginning to wonder ... why?

Thanks!
18 REPLIES
Duncan Edmonstone
Honored Contributor
Solution

Re: Why is it we can't just do patch upgrades lately?....

Rita,

Apply the patch bundles never did really "update" any products on HP-UX - it just patched existing versions.

For example, applying the Dec 2006 11.11 pathc bundle wouldn't upgrade Serviceguard from 11.15 to 11.16, or OnlineJFS from 3.3 to 3.5, we still had to dig out those application CDs to do that.

What's chnaged is that there are many more products out there that are tested and qualified on a narrower set of configurations - the classic example of the is Integrity Virtual Machines - you need to get to certain OS releases to be supported and this involves more than just patching existing product versions, it actually requires newer versions.

All that the update-ux produt does is combine together all the manual product updates you might have done in the past into just one set.

It also allows HP to make bigger changes to the OS without annoying the ISVs with having to re-qualify

The issue (I think) is that in the old days update-ux was used for major OS upgrades only and had a pretty jaded reputation and was geneally avoided in favour of cold installs. The update-ux process which takes you from 11.31.0809 to 11.31.0903 and the like is generally much less fraught - just think of it as applying a product bundle and a patch bundle all in one go... and also think of it of reducing the chances of having "incompatible product bundles" (like those WBEM providers I hear you love so much!)

HTH

Duncan

HTH

Duncan
Torsten.
Acclaimed Contributor

Re: Why is it we can't just do patch upgrades lately?....

IMHO the reason is because most individual products within the OS are independent software units now (components like LVM, drivers, etc) - new functionality comes with an update, not with a patch. Just a decision. I read about this somewhere, but I forgot the source, sorry.

With 11.31 each new version is called update release with new functionality. By using update-ux they ensure you have met all the requirements regarding minimum versions of drivers ...

Example:
Virtual machines 3.5 requires hp-ux 11.23 0712 as minimum because of all the driver, provider, ... dependencies. If the core is older, it will not install.


Hope this helps!
Regards
Torsten.

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Rita C Workman
Honored Contributor

Re: Why is it we can't just do patch upgrades lately?....

Duncan & Torsten,

Funny you mention HPVM, funny cause I was going to include them as an exception that should require using update-ux. But as an exception only.
I am aware that patching will only affect the current release of software on the box - hence why you upgrade your software version to a newer version and patch accordingly. Frankly I don't think I care for the idea of update-ux and BANG everything is upgraded. Maybe somethings you want left at an earlier version because of some third party vendor software running on that box that isn't ready for new "BANG" version.

You see when I update the box (O/S) I am old fashioned and I check everything - firmware relations, software versions in relation to other software running and so forth and so forth. Takes me a little longer, but I have never had any application so much as burp when I upgrade. And used the update-ux this last O/S upgarde and I agree it is sooooo much improved.
I really don't think I agree with this approach EXCEPT for those exceptions - like HPVM.

I guess my quesion is going to become - is this an 11.31 new standard methodology, or maybe Itanium standard methodology ........... or maybe HP is just looking at phasing out doing patch roll-outs entirely and replacing it with the ever eternal update your O/S for everything??

What d'ya think?
Torsten.
Acclaimed Contributor

Re: Why is it we can't just do patch upgrades lately?....

Have a look at my example posted earlier:

http://forums.itrc.hp.com/service/forums/questionanswer.do?threadId=1241964

Most updated components are drivers and core components. Consider to run update-ux interactive, this let you decide what to exclude from this process.

Hope this helps!
Regards
Torsten.

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Patrick Wallek
Honored Contributor

Re: Why is it we can't just do patch upgrades lately?....

Since I don't have a server running 11iv3/11.31 yet, I haven't had to go through this yet. However, I can see Rita's point. I have always thought of OS "updates" (coming from a pre-11i perspective) as adding functionality for new server models and processors.

Having heard that 11.31 required periodic updates via update-ux I was curious as to the thinking behind this as well.

I can kind of see from HP's perspective where it makes sense, but I can also see Rita's issues with this as well.

>>HP is just looking at phasing out doing
>>patch roll-outs entirely and replacing it
>>with the ever eternal update your O/S for
>>everything??

Now this I could possibly see. If instead of patching **AND** update-ux'ing, you just use update-ux and you have all the latest patches AND product versions in one go. I could possibly get behind that.


Steven E. Protter
Exalted Contributor

Re: Why is it we can't just do patch upgrades lately?....

Shalom Rita,

OT: Thanks for the linkedin invite.

It would appear that HP-UX is moving to a more Linux like model. That lets you use upgrade-ux to update core functionality as you said.

However I don't like the trend. I did the RHEL equivalent of update-ux on a system and ended up with a system that I could not patch.

Yes, Linux now offers the boot off a DVD/CD option to upgrade the OS. It also however supports the concept of using yum, to update the OS in place without a reboot, except in the end to implement the new kernel.

I've done a few 11.31 systems and actually managed to make things work the old way. I did a cold OS install, then some months later, did a QPK, and then installed the applications off the more recent application CD.

I don't trust update-ux and doing a cold install requires a great deal of attention to detail to reintegrate the system into NFS, NIS, Samba and a hundred of other things post install that I don't like to do.

I still think though it takes more work we can make 11.31 work the old way.

My opinion, hope they help.

Why? Well I really don't know but there are some guesses above.

SEP
Steven E Protter
Owner of ISN Corporation
http://isnamerica.com
http://hpuxconsulting.com
Sponsor: http://hpux.ws
Twitter: http://twitter.com/hpuxlinux
Founder http://newdatacloud.com
Rita C Workman
Honored Contributor

Re: Why is it we can't just do patch upgrades lately?....

Torsten,

Yes, running interactive would give that ability. Sort of doing an O/S upgrade in reverse for certain components .. i.e. upgrade all, except this one and except that one. My concern would be that taking this reverse approach folks might do less checking on being certain versions are what they should be (hopefully not in this shop).

Patrick,

That is sort of what it is starting to look and sound like - patching becoming a thing of the past and from now on just update-ux. I'm a creature of habit - but change is not bad either - this might work. Guess the vote is still out on it - time will tell !
...See you at the next conference, or the one after that - maybe by then other folks companies will spring for it again and we can all get back together!

Rita
Rita C Workman
Honored Contributor

Re: Why is it we can't just do patch upgrades lately?....

I'm going leave this thread open till tomorrow and then assign points and close..

Thanks,
Rita
Torsten.
Acclaimed Contributor

Re: Why is it we can't just do patch upgrades lately?....

Just to add - there are still the well known bundles even for 11.31:

HWEnable11i(B.11.31.0903.334d) Hardware Enablement Patches for HP-UX 11i v3, March 2009
FEATURE11i(B.11.31.0903.334c) Feature Enablement Patches for HP-UX 11i v3, March 2009
QPK1131(B.11.31.0903.334a) Quality Pack Depot for 11i v3, March 2009

Hope this helps!
Regards
Torsten.

__________________________________________________
There are only 10 types of people in the world -
those who understand binary, and those who don't.

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James R. Ferguson
Acclaimed Contributor

Re: Why is it we can't just do patch upgrades lately?....

Hi Rita:

I think Duncan provides a very cogent view.

I look at the Update-UX tool as delivery mechanism to insure that when products are updated any requisite patches come with them in the most seamless way.

I would expect (hope?) that the next step might (should?) be the ability for the Software Assistant (SWA) to deliver at least subsets of Update-UX functionality.

Regards!

...JRF...
Patrick Wallek
Honored Contributor

Re: Why is it we can't just do patch upgrades lately?....

I had a conversation with Bob Campbell from HP, who is involved intimately with SWA, regarding using SWA to update more than just patches. For example, if SWA detects a security issue with SSH, then it should download the latest version of SSH.

Bob said that this is something that they have thought about and would like to do, but there are some issues that they need to resolve internally (meaning internal to HP, not necessarily code-wise) first. I won't go into detail on the issues he described here.

Hopefully this is something that will show up in SWA in the next year or two.
Steven E. Protter
Exalted Contributor

Re: Why is it we can't just do patch upgrades lately?....

Shalom again,

JRF says:
I would expect (hope?) that the next step might (should?) be the ability for the Software Assistant (SWA) to deliver at least subsets of Update-UX functionality

I agree. WE can make it happen by beating on HP and demanding it.

upgrade-ux is a poor foundation for this work based on reliability.

SEP
Steven E Protter
Owner of ISN Corporation
http://isnamerica.com
http://hpuxconsulting.com
Sponsor: http://hpux.ws
Twitter: http://twitter.com/hpuxlinux
Founder http://newdatacloud.com
Patrick Wallek
Honored Contributor

Re: Why is it we can't just do patch upgrades lately?....

>>upgrade-ux is a poor foundation for this work based on reliability.

According to HP, update-ux (not upgrade-ux) has been much improved, especially since the 10.20 to 11.0 versions.

I'm not yet convinced that using it is a bad thing. Yes it does have a bad reputation based on the past, but I think you need to try the latest version before making a judgment on this version.
Duncan Edmonstone
Honored Contributor

Re: Why is it we can't just do patch upgrades lately?....

One more thing...

To the best of my knowldege the patch bundles aren't going away - you can still choose to just pick up the 6 monthly bundle and appply that. Also you can still apply individual product bundles via swinstall (such as a new version of Serviceguard or Glance)

You really only need to look at update-ux if you want some functionality that isn't delivered by a patch *and* the product that delivers that functionality has a hard dependency on an update release.

Right now the only product(s) that I'm aware of that have *hard* dependencies on specific HP-UX update releases are the various versions of HP Integrity Virtual Machines... I'm sure there are more, but that's all I can think of right now. Even stuff like LVM2 can be installed seperately if you really wish to:

http://h20392.www2.hp.com/portal/swdepot/displayProductInfo.do?productNumber=BaseLVM

HTH

Duncan

HTH

Duncan
Andrew Rutter
Honored Contributor

Re: Why is it we can't just do patch upgrades lately?....

hi,

thanks guy's and Rita,

this has cleared a few concerns I had regarding the subject. I can see both sides of the coin.

it will be interesting to see how long the patch bundles will be available for though, before or if they do go to just update from the core os cd's?

One thing that had been mentioned to me was that HP may have done it so that if you wanted to keep the system upto date you had to have it on support with them with updates. there way of keeping the support?

I hope this wont be the case.

The conversion came about at a hp training centre, when we were covering patch installs and there was no mention of the OS updates, which is the recommended way. This was the 11.31 sys admin course and you would have thought that this would have been covered there too

but, alas the trainer was left pondering

Andy
James R. Ferguson
Acclaimed Contributor

Re: Why is it we can't just do patch upgrades lately?....

Hi (again) Rita et al.

It seems to me that we are gaining considerable flexibility. With SWA and the new ability to download Operating Environments (OE) for 11.31 we are moving to an on-demand model.

http://h20341.www2.hp.com/hpux11i/us/en/products/hpux11iv3-edelivery.html

How about adding another SWA analyzer tag ("OE"?) and/or "APP" for analyzing products installed on a server outside the user's licensed OE realm? I'd love to hear Bob Campbell chime in here.

Even having SWA only _report_ that new OE's and/or application software products are available would be beneficial.

While I like the name 'update-ux' because it describes what it is, I agree with Duncan that it has a jaded reputation due to its past "sins". A little bit of hype from HP saying that 'update-ux' "...is not your father's Oldsmobile..." might help, too. And, no, I'm not suggesting that any of the aforementioned products may (or should) go the way the poor car did :-)

The experiences of Torsten and Rita speak well for the "new" 'update-ux'.

Regards!

...JRF...
Rita C Workman
Honored Contributor

Re: Why is it we can't just do patch upgrades lately?....

Gentlemen thank you for all your comments - it is very much appreciated.

There is no final consensus other than:
If you have HPVirtualMachines, so far you need to use update-ux. It is felt that right now that is probably, but not definitively, the only software that requires this method.
If you are just looking for latest patches on everything else you can do either qtly patches or use swa tools and download patches as usual.

Points were assigned given 10 to your first response and 1 to any additional comments you made.

Kindest regards!
Rita
Bob E Campbell
Honored Contributor

Re: Why is it we can't just do patch upgrades lately?....

FYI, no big intrigue about SWA and product analysis. While we are interested in the functionality it will require the cooperation of many parts of HP, thus more meetings and time before everything is lined up.

While that happens, we are working on other functionality that is within our control.