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Status Delivered
Workspace PowerVM
Created by Guest
Created on Feb 12, 2018

Request work-around for CPU Meltdown and Spectra Issue

Power System 7, 7+, 8, 9

Samsung Electronics Global-ERP system has a concern about CPU Meltdown and Spectre Patch issue.
(CVE-2017-5715, CVE-2017-5753, and CVE-2017-5754)

As you know, i-fixes for AIX and VIOS has been released Thu Jan 25, 2018 as below.

We have provided i-fixes link to customer.
CVEID: CVE-2017-5715
CVEID: CVE-2017-5753
CVEID: CVE-2017-5754

In the market, people say that there's performance issue after installing i-fix for CVE-2017-5715, CVE-2017-5753, and CVE-2017-5754.
To prevent performance issue, Oracle RedHat Linux released work-around on their web-site.
(disable parameters /
We could find detail information of RedHat article.

There are two options for disabling variant #2, #3.
(There is no way to disable variant #1.)

1. Disable fix for CVE-2017-5754 (variant #3/Meltdown)
# echo 0 > /sys/kernel/debug/x86/pti_enabled

2. Disable fix for CVE-2017-5715 (variant #2/Spectre)
# echo 0 > /sys/kernel/debug/x86/ibpb_enabled
# echo 0 > /sys/kernel/debug/x86/ibrs_enabled

3. CVE-2017-5753 (variant #1/Spectre)
-No way to disable this vulnerability.

Customer wants IBM to check if there is any parameter or work-around for avoiding performance issue
after Security Patches for CVE-2017-5754 CVE-2017-5715 and CVE-2017-5753.
Via PMR, we couldn't get the answer for this question.

Customer is going to update their AIX and VIOS system to latest version June and July, 2018.
According to official site, i-fix will be included in new version as below.

AIX Level APAR Availability SP KEY
5.3.12 IJ03029 N/A N/A key_w_apar
6.1.9 IJ03030 ** SP11 key_w_apar
7.1.4 IJ03032 ** SP6 key_w_apar << target
7.1.5 IJ03033 ** SP2 key_w_apar
7.2.0 IJ03034 ** SP6 key_w_apar
7.2.1 IJ03035 ** SP4 key_w_apar
7.2.2 IJ03036 ** SP2 key_w_apar

VIOS Level APAR Availability SP KEY
2.2.4 IJ03030 ** key_w_apar
2.2.5 IJ03030 ** key_w_apar << target
2.2.6 IJ03030 ** key_w_apar

Customer said that they couldn't update their system to latest if new version has IJ03032 and there's no work-around to avoid performance issue.

To prevent performance issue and update system to latest, they want IBM to develop work-around as RedHat has done.
Or, can you guarantee that there's no performance impact after installing ifix for CVE-2017-5715, CVE-2017-5753, and CVE-2017-5754?

Idea priority High
  • Guest
    Jun 28, 2018

    Please read link for more information

  • Guest
    Mar 28, 2018

    There are plans to provide a switch only for Power8 systems and expect that to be delivered via Power 8 firmware update scheduled in 2Q of 2018

  • Guest
    Mar 26, 2018

    Any update for this request?

  • Guest
    Mar 5, 2018

    IBM has modified some of the information in this request. In particular, the Source has been updated to None. Previous value was COMMON, but this request is not from the COMMON User Group. Please contact us if you have any questions.

  • Guest
    Feb 19, 2018

    Due to processing by IBM, this request was reassigned to have the following updated attributes:
    Brand - Servers and Systems Software
    Product family - Power Systems
    Product - PowerVM
    Component - PowerVM
    Operating system - IBM AIX
    Source - COMMON

    For recording keeping, the previous attributes were:
    Brand - Servers and Systems Software
    Product family - Power Systems
    Product - IBM AIX
    Component - Product functionality
    Operating system - IBM AIX
    Source - COMMON

  • Guest
    Feb 18, 2018

    I'd like to correct the title of this request.

    Title : Request ON/OFF parameter for CPU Meltdown and Spectre Issue
    (Controlling the performance impact at runtime)

    To control performance impact after updating system f/w and installing i-fix,
    customer wants IBM to design new parameters like RedHat has done.

    They want to disable/enable parameter when they encounter on performance impact "while business application is still running".