The Service Update Management Assistant (SUMA) moves the system administrator away from the manual task of retrieving maintenance updates from the Web. SUMA, which is included in the base AIX 5L™ Version 5.3 operating system, provides clients with flexible, policy-based options allowing them to perform unattended downloads of all AIX 5L™ updates from the IBM eServer® Support Web site. It allows automation of common tasks such as downloading a specific update when it becomes available, downloading the latest security updates, or downloading an entire maintenance level. A scheduling module is utilized to allow policies to be run at various intervals in order to conform to a client's maintenance window.
SUMA policies can be run without extensive configuration. Filtering options allow comparisons against an installed software inventory, a fix repository, or a maintenance level to ensure only desired fixes will be downloaded. SUMA provides the option to send an e-mail notification containing a list of what's available for download, as well as detailed summary statistics of a download. The technology offered by SUMA assists in moving clients toward an autonomic maintenance strategy by automating the download of software maintenance updates, which allows clients to take advantage of the increased security and reliability benefits of having current fixes, and the cost benefits which result from spending less time on system administration.