IBM Support

IBM Remote Code Load

News


Abstract

Remote Code Load (RCL) is a service offering provided by IBM which allows code updates to be performed by remote support engineers, as opposed to an on-site Support Services Representative (SSR).

Content

IBM Assist on-site (AOS) or remote support center or Secure Remote Access (SRA) including Call Home enablement are required, to enable Remote Code Load.

General FAQ

What is required on my part to support RCL? 

It requires configuring IBM Assist on-site (AOS) or remote support center or Secure Remote Access (SRA), the same secure connection method used for remote support for service.

What is Remote Code Load (RCL)?

IBM Storage has implemented a remote capability to upgrade code on clients’ entitled storage products, which is referred to as “Remote Code Load (RCL)”.  The RCL method is the preferred code delivery, which has proved to be very efficient and secure for both IBM and our clients.

What value does a RCL provide to clients?

RCL provides important benefits as compared to traditional code upgrade methods:

  1. Efficient: Assists IBM storage systems clients in maintaining code currency.
  2. Effective: A proven code delivery method.
  3. Trusted: Experienced IBM technical staff oversee the code load process end-to-end.
  4. Agile: Avoids the need to plan and schedule a System Service Representative (SSR) to be available at the client’s site.

Which IBM Storage products are entitled to receive RCL support during their warranty periods? 

Remote Code Loads have been implemented on the IBM DS8870 / DS8880 and TS7700 which include code upgrade support.  Remote Code Loads have also been implemented on products that come with Enterprise Class Support, including the FlashSystem 9100 (9848), V9000 (9848), SVC (2147), A9000 (9837 / 9838 and 9835 / 9836) storage products.

Are RCLs optional, and can clients still request an on-site code upgrade that is performed by an SSR, if desired?

  • All DS8880 and DS8880F models under warranty will use RCL as the preferred delivery method for code upgrades.  On-site SSR code upgrades will require an exception approval by contacting Gary Albert (galbert@us.ibm.com).  All future, next-generation DS8K products will utilize RCL as the default method for code upgrades, and any deviations requiring on-site SSR code upgrades will represent a chargeable feature that can be procured at the time of product purchase.
  • For the TS7700 and all Enterprise Class Support storage products, RCL is the preferred delivery method, although on-site SSR code upgrades will be available for those clients who prefer this option.

How do clients schedule a RCL?

For IBM storage products which have a Technical Advisor (TA) assigned through the warranty period, the TA will work with the client to plan code upgrades through the warranty period.  The client will work with the TA to plan a date and time for the code upgrade.

For IBM storage products that do not have a TA assigned through the warranty period, such as the TS7700, RCLs can be scheduled by contacting the IBM RCL Support team (ibmrcl@us.ibm.com) or by accessing the IBM Support boarding webpage:  https://www.ibm.com/storage/support/RemoteCodeLoad


How can clients obtain a RCL service from IBM if their storage product is out of warranty, or not entitled to receive code upgrade support from IBM?

Clients interested in receiving onsite code load support from IBM can purchase a separate code upgrade support services contract from IBM Global Technology Services.

For additional information, please contact your IBM representative or visit the following website::  https://www-01.ibm.com/common/ssi/cgi-bin/ssialias?htmlfid=MTD03120USEN&appname=skmwww


What is the RCL process?

The Remote Code Load process can be executed without interruptions to business operations. The RCL process & responsibilities will vary based on the target product.  See additional product-specific details as described in this document.

The RCL process consists of the following steps:

  1. For storage products with a Technical Advisor (TA), the TA will provide customized code recommendations based on the client’s environment.  The TA and client will work together to plan the code upgrade, and the TA will schedule the upgrade with the RCL Team.
  2. A couple of days prior to the upgrade window, the RCL Engineer will initiate a remote session to the client’s storage system.  The RCL Engineer will download the appropriate code packages, perform various health checks, and prepare for the upgrade.
  3. During the client’s maintenance window, the RCL Engineer will reconnect to the client’s storage system and perform the upgrade.

What are the IBM and client responsibilities relative to planning and delivering a RCL?

FlashSystem 9100, V9000 and SAN Volume Controller:

The Client:

  • Ensures that the following prerequisites are in place to support a RCL:
  1. Any failed hardware components should be replaced prior to the upgrade.
  2. Call Home must be configured.  This can be configured with the GUI: Settings > Notifications > Email.
  3. Service IPs are required for both canisters.  These can be configured with the GUI: Settings > Network > Service IPs.
  4. A DNS server must be defined.  This can be configured with the GUI: Settings > System > DNS.
  5. There are firewall requirements, as well as IP addresses and relevant ports documented in Knowledge Center: https://www.ibm.com/support/knowledgecenter/en/STSLR9_8.2.0/com.ibm.fs9100_820.doc/fs9100_ichome.html
  6. Lastly, Remote Support Assistance must be enabled.  This can be performed with the GUI: Settings > Support > Support Assistance.  Remote support can be enabled indefinitely or on a per session basis.

  • Works with their Technical Advisor to plan a date and time for the code upgrade.

The Technical Advisor:

  • Works with the client to determine a target code level and set a date and time for the code upgrade.
  • Schedules the remote code upgrade.
  • Monitors the activities through completion.

The RCL Engineer:

  • Downloads the code packages and runs the pre-checks a few days before the code upgrade.  This confirms that remote access works and ensures that the system is read for an upgrade.
  • Upgrades the system remotely during the agreed upon maintenance window.
  • Communicates status updates to the client throughout the process.


DS8000:

The Client:

  • Works with their Technical Advisor to plan a time and a date for the code upgrade, which occurs after completing the following prerequisite tasks.  RCL is available on all DS8880 code levels as well as on DS8870 SP7.1 and higher code levels. It requires configuring Assist On-Site (AOS) or Remote Support Center (RSC), the same secure connection method used for the DS8000 system autonomic call-home process for service.
  • Please review the additional information prior to any DS8880 code update CDA_8880_CUS_INFO_v5.22.pdf

The Technical Advisor:

  • Works with the client to determine a target code level and set a date and time for the code upgrade.
  • Schedules the remote code upgrade via IBM booking tool which will generate an IBM ticket with the RCL engineers.
  • Monitors the activities through completion.

The RCL Engineer:

  • Downloads the code packages and runs the pre-checks a few days before the code upgrade.  This confirms that remote access works and ensures that the system is read for an upgrade.
  • Upgrades the system remotely during the agreed upon maintenance window.
  • Communicates status updates to the client throughout the process.


A9000/R:

The Client:

  • Works with their Technical Advisor to plan a time and a date for the code upgrade, which occurs after completing the following prerequisite tasks. A remote upgrade requires the availability of remote connectivity, and approval to allow remote code load.
  • Ensures that the following prerequisites are in place to support a RCL:
Remote Support (RSC) must be enabled. This can be performed with HSM or XCLI:
- In HSM, Select your system > Support, scroll down to Support Center and click Connect and select your parameters and Apply.
- In XCLI, run support_center_connect and any optional parameters.
The remote support must also be allowed to connect proactively in case of severe conditions. In HSM select the checkbox under the Connect button. In XCLI, run support_center_config automatically_connect=yes

The Technical Advisor:

  • Works with the client to determine a target code level and set a date and time for the code upgrade.
  • Schedules the remote code upgrade.
  • Monitors the activities through completion.

The RCL Engineer:

  • Downloads the code packages and runs the pre-checks a few days before the code upgrade.  This confirms that remote access works and ensures that the system is read for an upgrade.
  • Upgrades the system remotely during the agreed upon maintenance window.
  • Communicates status updates to the client throughout the process.

TS7700:

The Client:

  • Confirms which systems require RCL and ensures that the systems are available (i.e. host jobs have been stopped).
  • Schedule remote code update via booking tool or contact the RCL team via IBM Support ticket.
  • Ensures that the following prerequisites are in place to support a RCL:
  1. Any failed hardware components should be replaced prior to the upgrade.
  2. AOS / remote support center for access to the TS7700 must be configured to allow remote access to the system’s TSSC.
  3. Defines which code level is intended for the upgrade, and defines possible deviations from the standard vtd_execs.

The RCL Engineer:

  • Runs the pre-check a few days before the code upgrade.
  • Installs all pertinent VTD_EXEC as part of the RCL process. The latest version available will be used unless the client requests a different version.

How to initiate an RCL Request?

Open an IBM Reservation Request via the Book Now links above for your specific products, or contact  IBM Support by opening an IBM ticket requesting Remote Code Load.


Cross reference information
Product Component Platform Version Edition
TS7700 virtual tape systems Platform Independent All Versions
IBM FlashSystem 9100 family Platform Independent All Versions
IBM FlashSystem V9000 Platform Independent All Versions
IBM FlashSystem A9000 Platform Independent All Versions
SAN Volume Controller Platform Independent All Versions

Document information

More support for: DS8880

Version: All Versions

Operating system(s): Platform Independent

Reference #: 0737923

Modified date: 15 April 2019