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V6R1 upgrade planning checklist

When upgrading to V6R1, make sure your software will be supported, your programs will function and the correct PTFs have been installed.

Given that you'll be up to your neck in lengthy IBM manuals, webcasts and white papers while planning a move to V6R1, I've compiled a handy list of points to consider when preparing for the upgrade.

The major caveat with this upgrade is the object conversion, which is similar to the CISC to RISC conversion when moving from the 48 to the 64-bit address space introduced in the PowerPC RISC processor about 15 years ago. This conversion, however, promises to be much easier and faster.

  • Review the manual "Install, upgrade, or delete i5/OS and related software" at the V6R1 Information Center. This is your bible, and it couldn't hurt to have a printed copy handy.
  • If you're not already on a supported release of i5/OS, bring your server up to V5R3 or V5R4 in order to upgrade to V6R1.
  • Review current system software that isn't supported on V6R1. Get the V5R4 software product and its V6R1 suggested replacement, if available.
  • Ensure that your current server supports the new operating system. The following models are supported: 60X, 61X, M15, M25, M50, E4A, E8A, EMA, MMA, FHA, 515, 520, 525, 550, 570, 595, 800, 810, 825, 870, and 890.
  • Ensure your programs will function in V6R1. You should run the Analyze Object Conversion (ANZOBJCVN) tool to make sure your programs have observability. If they don't, they will not convert and, therefore, not function in the new release. This tool is available by PTF. It's best to run it a couple of months in advance, in case some programs do not make the grade.
  • If using third-party applications, check with your ISVs to ensure their currently installed product will be supported after the upgrade. If not, check if your vendor has a V6R1-ready version that you must upgrade to in advance. Even so, run the ANZOBJCVN tool on anything the vendor certifies on V6R1 just in case. In the end, you're responsible for the applications to successfully run on your server post upgrade and you have the tools to prove they will.
  • Install mandatory PTFs for upgrading to V6R1.
  • Order the most recent cumulative, HIPER, group and application specific PTFs to install as part of the upgrade.
  • Review "PSP i5/OS memo to users V6R1." There are plenty of gold nuggets in there, many specific to your current configuration, that I couldn't cover in a quick checklist.
  • Review "PSP software installation information for V6R1."
  • If you run Lotus Domino and subsequent Quickr, Quickplace, Sametime or related servers, be sure to read "i5/OS V6R1 upgrade roadmap for Lotus Domino and related products." You'll want to ensure that you're on a supported Lotus release. Also, be sure to disable Domino auto-start and run the appropriate product conversion programs before you start your Domino servers. You would not want product conversion to take place as you're bringing your Domino servers up the first time. It's best to get this done out of the way in advance.
  • If you have old SPD hardware on V5R3, you must have a plan to move off this hardware before moving to V5R4 or V6R1. SPD support is nonexistent after V5R3.
  • Before upgrading, you have the opportunity to permanently apply temporarily applied PTFs. This is a space saver and isn't a bad idea.
  • Order your license keys and prepare to install them via the Web. Don't waste your time typing them in.
  • Ensure you have some backup media. We've all spent time looking for a couple of before/after tapes a few hours before a big upgrade.
  • Make sure you know your SST and DST passwords. Test them.
  • Use image catalogs to do the install. It's much faster than loading CDs or DVDs.

This is not an all inclusive list by any means, but it's a start. Do your due diligence, ask questions of people who've done the upgrade, talk to your business partner, read your manuals and get re-acquainted with your server room. All you need then is a deck of cards.

About the author:
Steve Pitcher is the Enterprise Servers and Application Analyst for Minas Basin Pulp & Power in NS, Canada. He's been specializing in System i and Lotus Domino solutions for the last decade. His blog, ENDJOBABN, covers his adventures in, and amusement with, his work on the IBM i and Lotus Domino.

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