Patch Release Update Policy

Stratus® ftServer®hardware platforms use operating system software provided by Microsoft®, Red Hat®, and VMware®. Stratus customers may wish to install vendor-provided software updates or patches for these operating systems. This document summarizes the update mechanisms suggested by each software vendor; and gives Stratus recommendations for safely applying those updates without compromising the fault tolerant capabilities of the ftServer system.

Microsoft Windows

Windows Hot Fixes

Microsoft Windows patches are called hot fixes. These may be released as a hot fix documented in a Microsoft Knowledgebase (KB) article; or as a hot fix or security bundle released on the Microsoft Download Center support page.

All ftServer systems running Microsoft Windows operating systems may download and install the latest KB article hot fixes without having to check with Stratus first.

All ftServer systems running Microsoft Windows operating systems may apply a Microsoft Hot Fix or Security Bundle as documented on the Microsoft Download Center support page without Stratus approval, and without any ftSSS updates.

Windows Service Packs

To install a Microsoft Service Pack update, you MUST also install a Stratus ftSSS update release that supports the new Service Pack. You will find a listing of Service Packs and supporting ftSSS releases on our Operating System Release Information for ftServer web page. Select the ftServer Windows Support Matrix to see the detailed listing.

ftServer System Software for Windows

Stratus-provided ftSSS for Windows software updates are available on DVDs. These may be ordered from the Stratus CAC, and are free of charge for a customer holding a valid support contract. Non-contract customers can order ftSSS upgrades for a fee, by contracting their local Stratus CAC support center.

Red Hat Linux

Red Hat Enterprise Linux™

Linux systems running Red Hat Enterprise Linux™ (RHEL), can download and install the latest kernel errata and non-kernel RPMs released using the Red Hat Subscription Manager (RHSM)™, by using the yum(8) command line interface. The RHSM provides a single update channel which offers RPMs for the latest RHEL update release.

Stratus provides a similar update channel which offers RPMs issued after the latest AUL (Automated Uptime Layer. Previous known as ftServer System Software) maintenance release. These RPMs can be installed to upgrade your system to the latest bug fix release beyond the given maintenance release. Configuring the YUM updater to include this Stratus update channel is described in the System Software Installation Guide (R013L)

In the “Default System Setup and Post Installation Tasks” section of this manual, refer to the “Post-Installation Tasks -> Adding Stratus RPM Repositories to the Software Updater Configuration” and also “Post-Installation Tasks -> Enabling the Stratus RPM Repositories ”. Please see the latest published Release Notes manual at our StrataDoc for Linux web page.

The AUL for Linux software has dependencies on particular versions of the Linux kernel, because Stratus modifies drivers in this kernel software to ensure their fault tolerant operation.

The Stratus kernel dependencies permit errata kernels to be installed. These later RHEL kernel errata can safely be installed on a Stratus system, but you may not install a kernel from a newer Red Hat update release than the one you are currently running. For example RHEL 6.7 is based on kernel kernel-2.6.32-573.el6 and RHEL 6.8 is based on kernel-2.6.32-642. AUL releases based on RHEL 6.7 (AUL 8.0.7.x and 9.0.7.x releases) support only RHEL 6.7 kernels having a version that begins: kernel-2.6.32-573 (such as kernel-2.6.32-573.35.2). You may NOT upgrade to an errata kernel meant for RHEL 6.8 (such as kernel-2.6.32-642.11.1)

To support a later RHEL update release, you must obtain a Stratus AUL maintenance release installation DVD for the AUL release that supports the target RHEL update release.

VMware vSphere

VMware ESXi Patches

Because Stratus supports running Automated Uptime Layer together with standard releases of VMware ESXi, you can download patches for VMware ESXi directly from VMware and install them on your system with standard VMware utilities. Stratus tests the patches that VMware releases to verify that there are no incompatibilities and that they are safe to install on ftServer systems. To determine which patches have been qualified by Stratus for use on ftServer systems, see the following Web site before installing:

Typically, you apply patches to an ESXi host by running VMware Update Manager, which creates a baseline for your host and lists the patches you can install. However, you can also manually download a patch zip file from VMware and install it by executing esxcli commands as described in the software installation guide.

VMware ESXi Update Releases

Before installing a VMware ESXi update release (“VMware ESXi 6.0, Update n”) or point release (“VMware ESXi 6.n.n or higher”), ensure that the release has been qualified by Stratus and determine if the release requires a companion update to Automated Uptime Layer. For a list of supported releases, see the following Web site:

Use caution when applying software updates from any source. Applying updates indiscriminately may introduce serious problems to your system