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FEEDBACK REQUESTED: Listing MCL information in ICSF APARs

By Bob Petti posted Thu March 25, 2021 10:02 AM

  
We would like some feedback about how the ICSF team documents MCL requirements for APARs.

When an MCL is delivered across multiple generations of IBM Z servers, very often the availability of the MCLs is staggered. ICSF has traditionally waited for the entire set of MCLs to be verified before we release our supporting APARs, which can delay the availability of the support ICSF function.

MCL requirements are documented in APARs using a "HOLD for EC", which is part of the overall APAR documentation. For example, here is the ++HOLD for EC from a recent ICSF APAR. ("EC" here means "Engineering Change").

z15
        Driver D41C
               Crypto Express5
                      EC P46642, MCL P46642.005
               Crypto Express6
                      EC P46644, MCL P46644.006
               Crypto Express7
                      EC P46646, MCL P46646.008
               I390 millicode
                      EC P46601, MCL P46601.079
                      EC P46601, MCL P46601.080

z14
        Driver D36C
               Crypto Express5
                      EC P41456, MCL P41456.008
               Crypto Express6
                      EC P41458, MCL P41458.009
z13
        Driver D27I
               Crypto Express5
                      EC P08449, MCL P08449.022

In the above example, it may be that the z15 MCL was available before the MCLs for z14 and z13, which could delay the availability of the ICSF APAR. Customers with the z15 MCL would then need to wait for the ICSF piece of the solution.

What we're proposing is using the HOLD information in the APAR to list the MCL specifics for the first MCL to be released, and then pointing to an online resource that will be updated in real time as other MCLs are available. For example:

z15
        Driver D41C
               Crypto Express5
                      EC P46642, MCL P46642.005
               Crypto Express6
                      EC P46644, MCL P46644.006
               Crypto Express7
                      EC P46646, MCL P46646.008
               I390 millicode
                      EC P46601, MCL P46601.079
                      EC P46601, MCL P46601.080

z14
        https://www.some.url.com/
z13
        https://www.some.url.com/

This allows the ICSF support to be delivered as quickly as possible, while still providing information that connects the ICSF APAR to required MCLs across all IBM Z models involved in the update.

We would like some feedback on this proposal - is it something you support?

Thank you.
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