AIX > Tips & Techniques > Systems Management

Project Monocle Will Simplify Patching

system updates

Project Monacle is also described here, along with some screen shots and more details:!/wiki/Power Systems/page/Monocle Patch Management

“We recognize that problem in IBM and set out to make your life easier. You may have heard of Project Monocle, but if not, it is a zero installation web application technology preview, providing a consolidated view of your inventory with the ability to drill down and view patch compliance. It actually works off existing IBM technologies such as the Technical Support Appliance (TSA), Fix Level Recommendation Tool (FLTR), and Fix Central. If you do not currently have TSA, contact the development team at to get started. If you do have TSA and are interested in using Monocle send an email also to and ask to get connected to Monocle.

“Finding the patch you need can be a daunting task. Project Monocle uses Fix Central and FLRT to provide you with recommended levels for each system type: AIX, IBM i, Firmware, VIOS, and HMC. Compare recommended and latest versions to see which is right for your environment. You can even see all of the APARs that are part of each update/upgrade to see how they'll affect your systems. Need to build a report for your internal review teams? No problem, that data is all there at your fingertips...

There is more information about the technology preview that is available here:

“Project Monocle is a zero installation web application, providing a consolidated view of your inventory with the ability to drill down and view patch compliance.

“This Technology Preview provides the opportunity to use Monocle at no charge. All customers who have, or are eligible to get, the Technical Support Appliance (TSA), can gain access.

If you do not currently have TSA, please contact the development team at to get started.

If you are not familiar with TSA, you can get more information and watch informative videos here

“Benefits IBM Technical Support Appliance (TSA) helps you:

-Streamline IT inventory management by intelligently discovering inventory and support-coverage information for IBM and non-IBM equipment

Improve technical support management with analytics-based reports and collaborative services

-Mitigate costly IT outages via operating system and firmware recommendations for selected platforms

“How it works -Configure TSA to discover basic support-related information such as hardware inventory, code levels, virtual machines, and OS information from designated devices.

-Inventory information is shared with IBM TSS using security-rich transmission protocols.

-IBM uses advanced analytics and worldwide support knowledge to help identify code currency and support contract vulnerabilities.

-Continuously collaborate with your IBM TSS focal point.”

Image your workflow in this new environment. TSA is gathering information about your machines from your HMC, and it is sending that information to IBM. You are then able to log in to Project Monocle and see almost real time information about your systems and how current your environment is as far as patching is concerned.

Imagine you are now able to set up upgrade plans, share those plans with others, let them approve or deny them, and have an audit trail of the plan and subsequent decisions that is available for review by interested parties.

Patching is a critical component of maintaining your systems, and this is a tool that can simplify the data gathering and decision making. You will be able to tell in an instant which systems need to be patched and what level they should be running, all from one screen.

Additional Resources:



Rob McNelly is a Senior AIX Solutions Architect for Meridian IT Inc. and a technical editor for IBM Systems Magazine. He is a former administrator for IBM. Rob can be reached at

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