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Upgrading IBM SmartCloud Orchestrator to Fix Pack 1 (FP1)

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Have you upgraded IBM SmartCloud Orchestrator (SCO)? My private cloud is currently running SCO 2.3 and provides services to IBM Cloud & Smarter Infrastructure (C&SI; formerly Tivoli Software) test, development and support engineers worldwide. I currently have one VMware region, two kernel-based virtual machine (KVM) regions and one IBM PowerVM region supporting over 1,000 VMs and logical partitions (LPARs), along with hundreds of script packages and virtual system patterns. I was clearly apprehensive about the pending task of upgrading to Fix Pack 1 (FP1) based on the complexity of the environment and the mission-critical nature of our SCO infrastructure.

Every upgrade (OS, hypervisor, product, firmware or drivers) can present its own unique challenges, regardless of the amount of planning. Fortunately, the SCO infrastructure in 2.3 runs completely on virtual machines. This enabled me to create clean snapshots in the event that the upgrade was unsuccessful. I scheduled the maintenance window from 7 p.m. Friday through 10 p.m. Saturday to include a buffer. Deployed VMs and LPARs remained online during this upgrade. I copied the FP1 files on the necessary central and region servers to save time during the maintenance window.

The upgrade process is documented in the IBM information center. Here are the high-level steps that I completed for the upgrade:

1. Stop SCO services.

2. Create snapshots.

3. Upgrade central servers (about two hours for the four servers).
o /SCO23FP1/installer/deploy_central_server.sh

4. Upgrade region servers (about five minutes each).
o /SCO23FP1/installer/deploy_region_server.sh -C 9.x.y.z

5. Upgrade compute nodes (about three minutes each).
o Initially, the upgrade of my KVM compute nodes in Raleigh was failing. I found that removing the files with the compute node host name must be deleted from /iaas/chef-repo-srv/data/clients/. After removal of those files, the upgrade was successful.
o /SCO23FP1/installer/deploy_compute_node.sh -s compute_node_name -p password_here

6. Start SCO services.

7. Provision VMs and LPARs.

The infrastructure was upgraded to FP1 and operational by 11 p.m. and opened back to my users. This upgrade included many fixes, but the most important one for my team was the support of IBM System z as a region through the public cloud gateway. Now we can manage IBM System x, System p and System z from one management tool.

If you have any concerns or questions about the SCO upgrade, please continue the discussion in the comments below, or connect with me on Twitter @ChrisRosen188.

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