ONTAP 9 Feature: Volume rehosting

Why Is The Internet Broken?


Clustered Data ONTAP (now known as NetApp ONTAP) is a clustered file system that leverages virtualized storage containers known as Storage Virtual Machines (SVMs) that act as “blades” to create a secure, multi-tenant environment with a unified namespace.

These SVMs own objects such as network interfaces and Flexible Volumes (FlexVols) and act as their own segmented storage systems on shared hardware. In previous releases, the volumes were dedicated to the SVMs and could not be easily moved to another SVM in the cluster. You had to SnapMirror the volume over to the new SVM or copy the data. This process was time consuming and inefficient, so customers, for years, have asked for the ability to easily migrate volumes between SVMs.

In the 8.3.2 release, this functionality was added in limited fashion, for use with the new Copy-Free Transition feature. The volumes could only be migrated if they were…

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NetApp TMP Volumes

As transitions from 7-mode to clustered mode continue to emerge, I have been dealing with TMP volumes lately due to unfinished migrations for many reasons.. mostly user error. This is not a new “thing” but rather a not well understood procedure.

7MTT is a tool that allows migration from 7-mode to clustered-mode by not only creating snapmirrors between the clusters, but also copying other important metadata such as shares, ACLs, exports, and much more.

During the data migrations, projects are created in 7MTT which includes volumes, those volumes can later be removed from the project prior to cutover, which results in TMP volumes at the destination node. I’ve seen individuals remove volumes from 7MTT projects, snapshot related to the snapmirror relationship, or simply chose to attempt to complete the migration manually… Not sure why!

The thing is… those volumes are pretty much useless outside of 7MTT. Even if you break the mirrors manually, those volumes will not be RW. Also, if you try to do anything from System Manager, you will get an error.


Regardless of your case, if you wish to turn those volumes into a normal type (RW), you will need to disable transition protection on that volume. This needs diagnostic privileges, so run at your own risk… ’cause I won’t be responsible if you mess up.

Cluster::> set diag

Cluster::*> volume transition-protect -vserver vserverA -volume volA -is-enabled off

Cluster::*>vol show

Cluster::*>set admin

As of ONTAP 8.3.x these commands work, but use the ? in case they change in the future.

Again. This is not a new “thing” just being asked by a lot of people lately, so I thought this may help.

Run at your own risk.

Drunk History – Storage

For those of you that have watched this show (Drunk History), you either love it or hate. I love learning about history, specially when the narrators are drunk. It makes it very interesting and funny. Anyway, this blog post is not about the show, but about the history of storage breakthroughs that changed the way we do storage.

Anyway, there has been many technology advances that not only affected the storage realm, but also other software define solutions such as hypervisors. The birth of snapshots, array replication, cloning, etc are just some of the many advances that we now take for granted. Here is a good representation of the advances provided by NetApp for the last 30+ years.



When you are shopping for hardware, consider the slide above and ask yourself, what company has the most experience and are the pioneers in the field.

I’m just going to leave this here…



FUD Slingers have nothing on All Flash FAS

FastAs you may or may have not heard the announcement earlier this week, NetApp has released an All Flash FAS (AFF) storage array. Many announcements, blogs and articles have been written about AFF, but I wanted to highlight the main aspects without having to read pages and pages (you can thank my ADHD for that).

Let me start ranting for a bit about those who have been spreading FUD about NetApp and how the company is “doomed”. I do not work for NetApp, but I use and truly believe that it is one of the best if not THE best storage solution in the market. Those who are writing negatively about NetApp still refer to it as a single purpose NAS, when it  truly encompasses a diverse portfolio, and AFF is a perfect example.



What is the big deal about NetApp AFF?

The recent announcement highlights the marriage between FAS systems (ONTAP) and Flash. Yes, NetApp already has all flash systems such as the EF560, but such systems are not running on ONTAP.

ONTAP + Flash, results in the only storage solution that is truly unified and is capable of utilizing different protocols within the same software AND hardware, in addition to the incorporation of Flash. Yes, no need to buy separate hardware for NAS vs SAN protocols. When you add these two components together, AFF is the result of not only an all flash storage, but also incorporates all the features of ONTAP such as de-duplication, compression, built-in data protection. scale-out performance, multi-tenancy, Non disruptive upgrades, etc, etc, etc.


AFF Announcement Highlights

Here are some of the highlights about the recent AFF announcements:

  • Lowest price for All Flash storage ~$5/GB Raw
  • One SKU number
  • Includes ALL license Bundles (Yay!!!)
  • Locks in support price for years 4-7 (3 years included)
    • We are talking Flash here, so Flash wear is no longer a practical risk
  • High performance at low latency

In short, AFF promises to deliver Enterprise ready performance at low cost and low latency by leveraging Flash, and ONTAP 8.3.1 (later discussion).


For more information about NetApp AFF, follow my NetApp A-Team colleagues on twitter for excellent posts (#NetAppATeam)



Cisco UCS: Intro



With the overwhelming amount of marketing fluff directed to potential customers, admins, IT Managers and directors; such potential buyers are skeptical to look into new technology and often decide for status quo as far as the vendor selection.

Some potential buyers are starting to utilize social media to research and help them decide on future purchases, given their unbiased point of view. This brings me to Cisco UCS servers. For a long time I was a big fan of HP blade systems and refused to look into other technologies, and tried to steer away from unknown territory. One day I decided to look into UCS further and take one of their hands-on Gold Labs. Turns out Cisco UCS is a very well thought out solution. HP is a nice solution in my opinion but UCS delivers extra features which results in flexible solutions.

From a high level view, UCS delivers compute, server networking, and management from a single solution. Deploying servers, is as simple as assigning policies to the blade servers as far as server configs, networking policies, etc. This makes deployment fast and guarantees a homogenous deployment model.

One of the many advantages that I really like is the ability to scale out. Adding more chassis and servers do not require running additional cables to the core switches as the fabrics are already connected. New chassis are connected directly to the fabrics and that is it. Making it very simple to add compute when necessary. This is just a high level view of UCS, and I plan to write more about it now that I am such a fan of it.  I hope the information I provide may help others with their decisions and also with solutions, and troubleshooting Cisco UCS.