“Image Catalog” vs “CD Drives”

20 pts.
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AS/400 performance
AS/400 upgrades
Image Catalog
What are the pros and cons between using "Image Catalog" vs "CD Drives"?
ASKED: October 21, 2008  11:52 PM
UPDATED: September 3, 2010  5:52 PM

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There are 2 main reasons for using “image catalog”
1. You can load the CD’s during working hours, and run the update off hours. Running the update should be faster from the catalog, and bypasses the “Install next CD” message that requires the operator to reload the CD drive several times. This may reduce the amount of time the system is offline.
2. If you need to load to multiple systems, the image catalog might be easier to send to the remote system than the CD’s

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There are three main advantages of using CD drives over image catalogs that I can think of:<ol>
<li>You can process CDs with a CD drive if you don’t have an image catalog, but you can’t process CDs with an image catalog if you don’t have a CD drive.</li><li>CD drives don’t require disk space to store the CD images.</li><li>Proper functioning of image catalogs often requires PTFs beyond the base set.</li>
</ol>
You have to decide if any of those advantages have any actual value.

Pretty much everything else favors image catalogs — speed of operation, flexibility, manual intervention (lack of), program control (unattended operation). With image catalogs, you don’t even need CDs, just use CD images. Images can be transferred from PCs to the IFS, potentially over the internet.

Tom

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  • Willhud69
    The image catalog will definately do that for you. If your a small shop like the one I work at though, and your scheduling time to be there after hours and babysit the install anyway, then using the CD's might be preferable. We so seldom do install's/upgrades, that I have a trust issue with it being automated, so tend to just use the CD option. That's just me though. <grin>
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  • Lovemyi
    The advantage to Image Catalog even in a small shop where you prefer to be there is that you can ensure that the image catalog will not fail due to a scratched CD. When you load the CDs into the image catalog, the last step is to verify the image catalog which will put the CD images in the proper order and make sure everything is readable. I like to watch thinkgs myself but even with that said, I perfrom all upgrades from home via secure VPN connection as long as I do not have to sit and load CDs all day. I even do PTF upgrades and OS upgrades to our UK machine all the time from home as VPN works wonderfully. Just make sure the console session is in shared mode so if you get dropped, you do not loose the install.
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  • wpoulin
    As was mentioned previously, one benefit is you know you're not going to have an issue with the last CD as you are doing an upgrade or CUM PTF's. I have been using Image Catalogs for our CUM PTF's and it has reduced the install time by about 30%. These 2 reasons alone are adequate in my mind to use this facility. Thanks, Bill
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  • Rayj1031
    Another great advantage of images - Although it happens rarely, if you have a bad CD, you will know about it when adding the Image catalog entry rather than when performing the upgrade or installing PTF's.
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