What is a “UAK”, Why Do I Need One, and How Do I Update It?

POWER8 (and later) servers include a UAK (update access key) that is checked when system firmware updates are applied to the system. Update access keys include an expiration date. System firmware updates contain a release date. In order to install the latest firmware on your server, you must have an unexpired UAK., or be installing firmware that with a release date prior to the expiration of your UAK. Think of this as having a valid license to update your firmware.

You can check the current expiration date of your UAK by entering DSPFMWSTS on a command line.

The above display will also let you know if your firmware is managed by an HMC or by the operating system. The process to update the UAK will vary based upon this “Firmware Update Policy”.

Setting the UAK to automatically Update on an HMC managed system:

From your HMC home page, go to: Serviceability -> Service Management -> Transmit Service Information

This will present the following screen:

The example above shows that the HMC will check the UAK every 7 days at 1:35 am, and automatically update it before it expires.

On a system where the UAK is managed by the Operating System:

The DSPFMWSTS command shows that the Firmware Update Policy for this system is managed by the Operating System (*OPSYS)

Systems with *OPSYS Firmware Update Policy can update the UAK by going to Option 20 of the “Go Service” menu, as shown below:

This is a quick high-level review of the UAK update process.

For more detailed information and options around updating your UAK, please utilize the following IBM links:

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