What are the steps to perform a remote upgrade to HMC 775?
There is one method for performing a remote upgrade to HMC v7r7.5 and
it involves using network install images.
Before you upgrade your HMC you will need to consider if the HMC
hardware will support the new version as well as the current managed
systems’ firmware levels. You can review the hardware requirements by
reading the readme for HMC V7R7.5.0 Recovery Media (Ref A). Generally
the HMC needs to be one of the 7310 or 7042 dual processor models with
1G to 4G of memory. It is also necessary to be aware that each HMC
release is designed to work with specific system firmware levels which
are documented in the “HMC / Firmware Supported Combinations” chart (Ref
B). If your managed systems are not at the levels shown as supported for
the HMC version you wish to upgrade to then you will need to consider
updating the managed system firmware before upgrading the HMC. Once you
have determined that your HMC and managed system firmware will work with
the new version then you are ready to proceed with the upgrade.
HMC CLI Commands Used
During the remote upgrade process you will make use of following
saveupgdata – to save configuration data of the HMC
getupgfiles – to retrieve network install images
chhmc – to setup alternate disk boot method
hmcshutdown – to reboot the HMC
updhmc – to apply corrective service patch
IBM’s FTP Repository for HMC Images
Both the getupgfiles command and updhmc command syntax used in following
example will have an IBM FTP server. If your HMC can get to the IBM FTP
server used in our example then you can enter the commands exactly as
shown. If you need to use your own FTP server because
your HMC is isolated from the Internet then you will want to modify the
FTP server name and fix directory used in our example to something that
works in your environment. The IBM FTP repository for HMC as well as
other product updates is ftp.software.ibm.com and HMC has separate
directories for various types of fixes as follows.
Network Install Images:
HMC Updates (typically this applies to service packs)
Corrective service efixes
Example Command Syntax Used in Remote Upgrade
The following example assumes that your HMC is at v7r3.4 or higher and
you have performed good administrative actions prior to upgrade (closed
open service events, clear old archived diagnostic log files, and made
any necessary backups required for your business). If you have an HMC at
an earlier release (i.e. v4.2.1 through v7r3.3) then you will need to
heed the directions in the Upgrading to HMC Version 7R7.5.0 from earlier
HMC releases (Ref D) first. Prior to starting an upgrade its a good
practice to perform following commands first.
chsvcevent -o closeall
chhmcfs -o f -d 0
hmcshutdown -t now -r
Example commands used to remotely upgrade to v7r7.5 with SP1.
- Save Upgrade data to HMC hard disk
saveupgdata -r disk
Note: This operation will mount a filesystem called /mnt/upgrade and
save configuration data then unmount /mnt/upgrade. The Operation should
only take a few moments.
- Download the network install images to the HMC
getupgfiles -h ftp.software.ibm.com -u anonymous –passwd ftp \
Note: The getupgfiles operation will mount a filesystem called /hmcdump
and copy the install files into the directory then unmount the
- Set the HMC to boot from an alternate disk partition
chhmc -c altdiskboot -s enable –mode upgrade
- Reboot the HMC to begin the upgrade
hmcshutdown -r -t now
Note: the HMC will boot from the alternate disk partition then start
processing the upgrade files and this
process is going to take some time. Most installs complete between one
to two hours.
After the HMC is upgraded to v7r7.5 then you will need to install the
service pack MH01317.
updhmc -t s -h ftp.software.ibm.com -u anonymous -p ftp \
-f /software/server/hmc/updates/HMC_Update_V7R750_SP1.iso -r
After you complete the upgrade to 775 SP1 you will want to also check to see if any other efixes are available. The process to update with additional efixes is similar to the commands listed above, but will not be covered in this technote.
Things to consider when doing a remote network upgrade.
While the HMC CLI environment is restricted, there are some common scripting commands you could use to monitor the status of network image downloads which could be constructed as hscroot.
while true ; do
ls -la /hmcdump
Typically the filesystem /hmcdump remains mounted until the getupgfiles command completely exits and might be able to determine if all files and correct sizes were completely downloaded using such a monitor before you proceed with the upgrade. Ordering and staging recovery media as well as fix media on site with the HMC is a prudent action to take just in case something goes wrong during the unattended upgrade.
Post Upgrade Verification
You can use command “lshmc -V” post upgrade to verify the build level of