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Update Access Key

By Chet Mehta posted Sat June 06, 2020 01:43 PM


What is an "update access key"?

POWER8 (and later) servers include an “update access key” that is checked when system firmware updates are applied to the system.  In order to be installed, the firmware must have been released prior to the expiration date of this key.  When attempting to install system firmware updates, if the release date for the firmware is newer than the expiration date for the update access key, the update will not be processed. Because update access keys expire, they need to be replaced in order to install newer firmware.  Starting with HMC 8.840.0 the Hardware Management Console (HMC) gives the option to update the access key automatically.

The HMC can be configured to update the access key using the "Transmit Service Information" panel under the "Schedule and Send Data" tab.  Navigate to this panel by going to "Service Management" then "Transmit Service Information" after logging into the HMC.  Here is the panel.
UAK Setup

An expired update access key must be replaced before system firmware update released after the expiration date can be applied to the system. Your POWER8 server will provide several warnings 30 days prior to the expiration of the system’s update access key and if/when an update access key is allowed to expire.

Hardware Management Console warnings on impending expiration and notification of "update access key" expiration

A message screen will be displayed to all users logged into the primary HMC as the "update access key" approaches expiration. This screen will be displayed at 30, 20, 10, 5, 4, 3, 2, and 1 day(s) before the "update access key" expires.  As previously stated, these warnings will only be seen by logged in users and can also be seen in the log history highlighted later in this blog.  The message will read:
COD Message: 0071

"HSCL0071:The update access key for this server expires in {number} days.  To renew the hardware entitlement of this server, obtain a new update access key from the website http://www.ibm.com/servers/eserver/ess.  Use the management console Capacity on Demand (CoD) Enter CoD Code task to enter the new key on the server."

This HMC message screen will be displayed to all users logged into the primary HMC when the "update access key" expires. The expiration will also generate a service event which will be called home and will send out a notification.  The Message will read:
COD Message: 0072

"HSCL0072: The update access key for this server has expired.  To renew the hardware entitlement of this server, obtain a new update access key from the website http://www.ibm.com/servers/eserver/ess.  Use the management console Capacity on Demand (CoD) Enter CoD Code task to enter the new key on the server"

The expiration warnings and notice for the "update access key" will also be logged and can be viewed in the CoD History Panel.
COD History Log

Manual checking of the “update access key” expiration date from the Hardware Management Console.

It is possible to check the expiration date using the lslic command (replacing the sequence of '?'s with the serial number of the system):

# lslic -m 9119-MME*??????? -F mtms,update_access_key_exp_date


If you want to manually update the “update access key”

An expired update access key can be updated by visiting the following website: http://www.ibm.com/servers/eserver/ess/index.wss

  • Step 1: Gather Data you will need to know your server's machine type, serial number, and the country of installation in order to obtain a new update access key.
  • Step 2: Login to the "Entitled System Support" web page using your IBM WebID http://www.ibm.com/servers/eserver/ess/index.wss
  • Step 3: Navigate to the "My Entitled Hardware" section and select "View, download and request update access keys".
  • Step 4: Enter your server’s machine type, serial number and country of installation. You may enter each server machine type and serial number individually, or you can upload a list of servers.
  • Step 5: On the “Update Access Key Request Confirmation” page, you’ll see the result of your request(s). You’ll have the option of viewing your server’s new update access key directly, downloading the key via a file or sending it to your IBM Web ID via email. Note: If you were not provided with a new update access key for your server, click on “contacts” on the right side of the screen to engage with IBM.
  • Step 6: After retrieving your server’s new update access key, return to your server and enter the key on your HMC (using the “Enter CoD Code” feature) or via the ASMI (using the “CoD Activation” feature)

The initial Update Access Key is loaded during the manufacturing process and is dated to align with the expiration of the initial warranty period.
The term of any subsequent agreement (e.g. IBM hardware maintenance service agreement or special bid agreement) may vary. Therefore, replacement Update Access Keys are issued with a duration of 180 days.

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