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Status Not under consideration
Workspace IBM i
Created by Guest
Created on Oct 7, 2019

STRNETINS setup validation.

NOTE: See Case TS002823522 (Since the PMR ID field above has not yet been enabled for cases!)


When using network based image catalog for upgrades there are key components that must be in play for this thing to work. Once the network is correct (e.g. you can PING the client partition from the host partition) the next step is testing access to the upgrade images. Here we create the network based optical device such as OPTNET01 using the service tools interface, *SRVLAN, and the correct NFS exported directory. If this varies on and we can browse the first image under /QOPT then we are 99% there. This is goodness but as 99% of a bridge doesn't get you across the river, unless you are named Bo or Luke, there is yet one last bit that must work. That last bit is the TFTP setup. The validation of the image catalog on the host side builds the ..../BOOTP directory with about 975 files including 'netipl' and we can validate its existence easily. We can also easily do CHGTFTPA to correctly set the alt source directory to the correct path (we use /IBMi ) and restart that service. The MISSING piece is validating that the client partition can in fact access /IBMi/...../BOOTP/netipl with TFTP. The only known way to test that currently is to STRNETINS. If it fails we gotta figure out why but if it succeeds we just started an upgrade!! There is no known way to assure it's working until we are standing there on the bridge and seeing a gap that must be completed before we can cross. And the bridge is on our critical path to the upgrade.

So can we get perhaps:
A) an OPTION(*VALIDATE) to the STRNETINS?
NOTE: This would be kinda nerve wracking to press enter on this command.
B) VLDNETINS command to Validate the network install is all correctly set up.
C) At a minimum a program to call to validate the TFTP setup?? e.g. CALL QVOITFTP ('/ibmi/v7r3/instal') where that path is the path to the install images.

In all cases test should use the same code path used by STRNETINS so that we're assuring it will work from that partition.


Use Case:

All prep is done. Images are visible. PTFs are applied using network based optical device. Licenses are loaded and accepted using network based optical device. So we know that the NFS side is working and correct. But we DO NOT know if the TFTP bits are correct or reachable from the client. Thus we key STRNETINS with appropriate parameters and hold our breath. In this case we had 8 partitions queued to roll and MCH3601. **PUNT*


Idea priority Medium
  • Guest
    Jun 3, 2022
    Thank you for taking the time to submit your request. After careful consideration, we know that we cannot deliver your requested enhancement soon, so it is being declined. However, your request does align with the future strategy of our product and we believe it may have future value, so we will add it to an internal list for us to keep in mind for the future.

    IBM Power Systems Development
  • Guest
    Jun 24, 2020

    IBM understands the request and will consider it for our future plans.

  • Guest
    Feb 17, 2020

    The COMMON Europe Advisory Council (CEAC) has reviewed this requirement and recommends that IBM view this as a MEDIUM priority requirement that should be addressed.

    Background: The CEAC members have a broad range of experience in working with small and medium-sized IBM i customers. CEAC has a crucial role in working with IBM i development to help assess the value and impact of individual RFEs on the broader IBM i community and has therefore reviewed your RFE.

    To find out how CEAC help to shape the future of IBM i, see CEAC @ ibm.biz/BdYSYj and the article "The Five Hottest IBM i RFEs Of The Quarter" at ibm.biz/BdYSZT

    Therese Eaton – CEAC Program Manager, IBM

  • Guest
    Oct 10, 2019

    First, Case TS002823522 did not have anything to do with a failure of TFTP. The TFTP activity is handled by boot loader in the firmware once power down has been completed and power up has re-started.

    That said, That doesn't invalidate this RFE request. It's been on our internal list for awhile as a nicety, however, it had never been fully investigated for the following reasons:
    1 - No formal customer request had been received.
    2 - It isn't a trivial enhancement
    3 - Using the documentation from the Network Install White Paper (ftp://public.dhe.ibm.com/systems/support/power/i/nfs_optical_upgrade.pdf) tips and techniques section as well the IBM i and Related Software wiki (http://www.ibm.com/developerworks/ibmi/software) FAQ section, there is a way to verify that the source (Host) server TFTP has been setup correctly prior to kicking off STRNETINS.

    It also should be noted that as the TFTP activity executed after STRNETINS is issued is done at the firmware level, it would not be able to be duplicated at the XPF level. At best any verification done within STRNETINS execution would just prove that the source (host) system was setup properly, which can already be done from an aix or PC command prompt as described in our documentation.

    If we were able to provide this verification, I would suggest it would just be built into the STRNETINS code to provide a failure if it was detected that the TFTP was not properly setup on the source server. There really isn't a need to have just a validate function. The code should always just validate prior to power down.

  • Guest
    Oct 9, 2019

    I don't to hijack Dr F's RFE but how about extending the HMC to serve these images?

    Using something like the Template and OS function you could capture an install or upgrade image and deploy it, as the HMC would not have any other need for NFS / TFTP (where theoretically an IBM i LPAR could) then it could automatically configure itself correctly for the task and so reduce the potential problems that the Doc describes in his use case.