In my humble opinion (IMHO) - this is not an official IBM statement.
- If you know me then you know I like putting a sensible stake in the ground for comment and debate.
- I am writing this as I find AIX users hitting problems and then it turns out their AIX version is ancient history and it gets annoying.
- I hope these guys maintain their car-brakes more often than the maintain their AIX software!!!
In the 2019 updated document IBM AIX Operating System Service Strategy Details and Best Practices (click on the text to get the .PDF document) there is loads of excellent information from Evan Zoss and the team. Highly recommended reading.
Including this chart (which I changed a little), thanks to Evan Zoss for the image:
If all your production AIX servers are on these AIX levels, Technology Levels (TL) and Service Packs (SP) - WELL DONE, relax and perhaps take the rest of the day off!
If your AIX versions are not on this chart - UPGRADE AS SOON AS POSSIBLE. This is because you are missing:
- Security fixes - the hackers are not asleep on the job!
If your company has a security breach and you are system admin for systems running older AIX copies then you could take the blame and lose your job.
Actually, you would need to be less than a year behind IMHO.
If you work in a company that is in financial services or banking then there could be multi-million Dollar-Euro-Pound fines.
- Bug fixes and improvements in RAS (Reliability, Availability and Serviceability).
Do you really what to hit a bug that was already fixed 2 years ago?
How do you explain that to the management looking for a scapegoat for the lost revenue?
- Out on performance too - our performance developers are always tweaking the OS to make it faster.
Upgrade and look a hero!
- If you are on a TL that is not on this chart - you don't have full support.
Meaning AIX Support may (during your self inflicted crisis) ask you to upgrade to a supported TL before issuing a fix.
- If you are on a TL that is on the chart but using an earlier service pack (i.e. off the left of the chart) then at the very least add the missing service packs.
Service packs add bug fixes and are unlikely to affect any applications i.e. no functional changes.
- If you are on a Technology level that has hit the Final TL Service pack, then you need to plan to upgrade to a higher TL before the end of the year (2019).
- I added the bit about AIX 6.1 - it is NOT SUPPORTED for the last two years but you all know that!
- If you must run it for some non-critical reason then you should upgrade to the latest service pack AIX 6.1 TL9 sp11 or 12 because that is the best it will ever get - you might as well get all the bug fixes installed.
AIX 5.3 or earlier
- I am happy to report that the only place these AIX versions are running is in a museum.
- Unless you know differently! Please do not comment below.
Of course, don't skip your company best practice processes for testing new AIX releases, have two backups, use alternative disk install or disk snapshots.
- "Don't TIP = Test in Production" - Susan Schreitmueller, IBM DE.
Other Best Practice documents can be found here:
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