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Management of AIX Update Access Keys

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Question

Management of AIX Update Access Keys
There are two types of Update Access Keys. One for server firmware and one for AIX. This page contains information on AIX Update Access Keys. For information on Firmware Update Access Key see: https://www.ibm.com/support/pages/node/679049
 

Answer

What do I need to know about AIX Update Access Keys and Power10?
IBM® Power10, or later, processor-based servers include technology that helps to manage and keep your Software Maintenance Agreements (SWMA) current so that you can apply AIX® updates and receive support from IBM. The server checks for an active SWMA when updating the AIX operating system. The server utilizes an AIX update access key (UAK) that includes the expiration date for the associated SWMA agreement. Informational messages are generated when the release date for the AIX operating system has passed the expiration date of the AIX UAK and during normal operation. Additionally, the server periodically checks and informs the administrator about AIX UAKs that are about to expire, AIX UAKs that have expired, or AIX UAKs that are missing. It is recommended that you replace the AIX UAK within 30 days prior to expiration.
What is an AIX Update Access Key?
IBM Power10, or later, processor-based servers include technology that checks for an active Software Maintenance Agreement when updating the AIX operating system. The server utilizes an AIX update access key that includes the expiration date for the associated SWMA agreement. Informational messages are generated when the release date for the AIX operating system has passed the expiration date of the AIX UAK. Informational messages are also generated when AIX boots or during Live Partition Mobility (LPM) operations and the current AIX operating system level has passed the expiration date of the AIX UAK. Additionally, the server periodically checks and informs the administrator about AIX UAKs that are about to expire, that have expired, or that are missing.
The AIX UAK is a Capacity on Demand (CoD) code. It indicates whether the server has an active Software Maintenance Agreement (SWMA). There is a single AIX UAK per server (not one per LPAR.) As the AIX update access key expires, it needs to be replaced using either the Hardware Management Console (HMC) or the ASMI GUI.
My server already has an update access key, do I need another one for AIX?
If your Power10, or later, server has AIX partitions then you need an AIX update access key (UAK) installed on the server. A single AIX UAK covers all of the AIX levels and LPARs running on a server.
What happens when my AIX update access key expires?
Before expiration, the system will generate informational messages that the AIX update access key (UAK) is about to expire (several warnings in the 30 days prior to expiration). These notifications are visible on the HMC GUI. After expiration, the system will continue to operate normally and generate notifications that the key needs to be replaced. If there is no AIX UAK present, the system will continue to operate normally and generate notifications that an AIX UAK needs to be applied to the server. Messages will also be displayed during AIX boot, AIX update, and Live Partition Mobility (LPM) operations indicating that the UAK needs to be renewed or applied in the case of a missing AIX update access key.
The capability to perform AIX updates and other operations is not impacted by the presence of an expired or missing AIX UAK.
When will I need a new AIX update access key for my Power10 and later servers?
Ideally an AIX update access key (UAK) should be replaced within 30 days prior to expiration. Your Power10 (and later) server will provide several warnings in the 30 days prior to the expiration of the AIX UAK.
Before applying an AIX update that is newer than the expiration date of an AIX UAK, the UAK should be replaced. A server is entitled to all AIX updates that were made available during the time period for which the server had a valid AIX update access key.
Additionally, when performing LPM the destination server needs to have an AIX UAK that has not expired or has an expiration date later than the date of the AIX image running in the LPAR being migrated.
How can I check the AIX update access key expiration date or OS Image date from the Hardware Management Console?
You can check the AIX update access key (UAK) expiration date using the lssyscfg command:
# lssyscfg -m <name of managed system> -r sys -F aix_update_access_key_exp_date
08/15/2021
The AIX OS Image date can be viewed using the lssyscfg command:
# lssyscfg -m <name of managed system> -r lpar -F name,os_image_date
You can also view the AIX UAK expiration date and the OS Image date from the General Properties view of an AIX LPAR along with the AIX Image Date.
image-20210907081808-1

How can I check the AIX update access key expiration date or OS Image date from AIX?

It is possible to check the AIX update access key expiration date and the image date for the currently installed version of AIX using the lparstat -u command: 

image-20210907081820-2

Am I entitled to install a specific AIX release?

You can determine if you are entitled to install a specific AIX release or updates by comparing the expiration date of your current AIX update access key (UAK) against the release date for the desired AIX release level. If your current AIX UAK has expired, you can obtain a new one via the ESS website: http://www.ibm.com/servers/eserver/ess 

For example, if the AIX UAK is expired and has an expiration date is August 1, 2020 and the AIX release date is July 1, 2020 you are entitled to install and run that AIX release level regardless of the current date. It does not matter what the current date is; only the check against the UAK expiration date and AIX release date matters. 

Will the Hardware Management Console warn me when the AIX update access key approaches expiration?

An HMC notification will be displayed as the AIX update access key (UAK) approaches expiration. 

Countdown to Expiration: This notification will be displayed at 28, 21, 14, 7, 3, 2, and 1 day(s) before the AIX UAK expires. The notification will read: 

image-20210907081844-3

In addition, a warning icon image-20210907081844-4 will be displayed next to the AIX UAK expiration date on the General Properties view of an AIX LPAR. 

What will I see during AIX boot when an AIX update access key expires?

An AIX warning message will be displayed at the AIX console during boot when the AIX update access key (UAK) has expired, and the level of AIX installed on the LPAR has a newer OS image date than the AIX UAK expiration date.  The message will read: 

image-20210907082230-5

What will I see during AIX update when an AIX update access key expires?

An AIX warning message will be displayed during update operations when the AIX update access key (UAK) has expired, and the level of AIX being installed on the LPAR has a newer OS image date than the AIX UAK expiration date.  The message will read: 


image-20210907082230-6

What will I see in the AIX error log when an AIX update access key expires?

An error will be logged in the AIX error log when the AIX update access key expires and then every 30 days thereafter.   

The AIX errpt command will show the following in the AIX error log: 
image-20210907082253-7
And the detailed errpt output will show the following:
 image-20210907082253-8

What will I see within the Hardware Management Console when an AIX update access key expires?

An HMC notification will be displayed when the AIX update access key (UAK) expires. The notification will read: 

image-20210907082322-9

In addition, a warning icon image-20210907082322-10 will be displayed next to the AIX UAK expiration date on the General Properties view of an AIX LPAR. 

Where do I get a new AIX update access key?

A new update access key can be acquired by visiting the following website: http://www.ibm.com/servers/eserver/ess 

What is the active duration of a new AIX Update Access Key?

The initial Update Access Key is loaded during the manufacturing process and is dated to align with the expiration of the initial SWMA agreement. 
 
The term of any renewal key will be a duration of 180 days or align with the expiration date of the SWMA agreement, whichever comes first. 

How do I install an AIX update access key if I am using HMC to manage my Power10 servers? 

Enter your replacement AIX update access key (UAK) via the "Enter CoD Code" panel on your HMC. Navigate to the server and then click on ‘Capacity On Demand’ and ‘CoD Functions’. Then click on ‘Enter CoD Code’ and enter your code on the screen. 

Note that the AIX UAK is a Capacity on Demand (CoD) code.  It indicates whether the server has an active Software Maintenance Agreement (SWMA). There is a single AIX UAK per server (not one per LPAR.) 


image-20210907083118-17
image-20210907084112-1

image-20210907084223-2

Can the system automatically renew AIX update access keys? 

Yes, the HMC can be configured to update the AIX update access key (UAK) using the "Transmit Service Information" panel under the "Schedule and Send Data" tab.  Note that this requires that the server have an active SWMA agreement, and that Electronic Service Agent has been configured on the HMC. 

Navigate to the "Transmit Service Information" panel by clicking on "Serviceability" image-20210907084223-3 then
 

"Service Management" then "Transmit Service Information" after logging into the HMC.   Scroll down and select the option for “Update Access Key Information”. You can also configure the frequency and time of day at which the HMC will check and update the access key. 

Note, when configured, the HMC will automatically renew AIX UAKs as well as the Firmware UAKs. 

image-20210907084258-4

What if I am managing Power9 or earlier servers with my HMC? 

AIX update access keys are a feature on Power10 and later servers. 

How do I use the ASMI GUI to manage the AIX update access key?

Note that the AIX update access key (UAK) is a Capacity on Demand (CoD) code.  It indicates whether the server has an active Software Maintenance Agreement (SWMA). There is a single AIX UAK per server (not one per LPAR.) 

For the Power10 E1080, enter your replacement AIX UAK via the "CoD Activation" Panel on the ASMI screen. 
 
image-20210907084330-5

Note, the “Update Access Key Exp Date” shown on the ASMI screen is the Firmware UAK expiration date. To view the AIX UAK expiration, use the lparstat -u command from AIX or view the date via the General Properties page of the LPAR of the HMC. 

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Document Information

Modified date:
08 September 2021

UID

ibm16480845