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Sun Fire[TM] 12K/15K/E20K/E25K: Procedure for applying Solaris[TM] and SMS patches to System Controllers (Doc ID 1009147.1)

Last updated on MAY 11, 2021

Applies to:

Sun Fire 12K Server - Version All Versions and later
Sun Fire 15K Server - Version All Versions and later
Sun Fire E20K Server - Version All Versions and later
Sun Fire E25K Server - Version All Versions and later
All Platforms


Applying patches to a Solaris[TM] workstation or server is a relatively straightforward maintenance task. Patches are downloaded, and patch READMEs are reviewed in order to follow the Installation Instructions properly.

There are, however, certain types of systems that are so special that the patching process may be confusing and hard to follow for specific OS or software products. Such a special system is the Sun Fire[TM] 12K/15K/E20K/E25K System Controller (SC). This system manages the 12K/15K/E20K/E25K platform (up to 18 total domains) and therefore is an important server which requires regular patch maintenance for both the Solaris OS and System Management Services (SMS) software. The Solaris and SMS patch installation instructions vary greatly, and must be followed exactly to assure the platform remains healthy and unaffected negatively by the maintenance work. Because of the different special instructions required for these two patch sets, the maintenance process might seem confusing, but it really is not so bad a process at all.

Solaris patches, generally speaking, require a reboot to take effect.  The Solaris patches should also be applied at single user level because the OS changes need to be made when applications are shut down and the system is in as quiesced a state as possible.  Some patches may also require additional modifications be made according to a specific patch's README.

SMS patches are not applied in the same manner as Solaris patches.  SMS patching requires that the SMS software be stopped and started in specific orders during the patching process to be sure that the platform's health is not effected by the patching process itself.  This involves various steps to assure that failovers do not occur when they are not desired.  In addition to the general order of stopping and starting SMS, some specific  SMS patches require their own set of instructions be carried out as well.

Because of the general differences in the process of patching Solaris and SMS, following the two sets of Installation Instructions can ultimately lead to confusion.  In the worst case, serious problems may be encountered if a critical step(s) is missed.  This document is meant to be a general reference guide to describe the steps that should be followed when patching the SMS software and Solaris OS on the Sun Fire 12K/15K/E20K/E25K System Controller configuration.  This procedure is meant to reduce the problems that could be encountered by the maintenance task of patching by separating the process out into three stages, PRE WORK, SMS PATCHING, and SOLARIS PATCHING.

NOTE: This document is to be used for reference only. This document in no way replaces the README included with every patch.  It is the responsibility of the person who installs the patch to review, understand, and follow a patch's README.  This document contains the general process that the described maintenance should follow. The patch READMEs contain the specific and sometimes additional steps needed to apply the specific patches.

Please review this entire document before "diving in" and executing the process on your SC configuration.


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