Saturday, 6 July 2013

Upgrading Ontap from 7.2.7 to 7.3.7

It is always better to plan firmware update along with usual maintenance and hardware expansion downtime. You may need to upgrade to newer version of Ontap for several reasons, which may include providing compatibility between disk shelf and controller or for installation of an expansion card for new buses. I did it before adding my DAEs. You need a partner account to download correct update patch and detailed documentation. You should also have an anti static wrist band, sheets, console cable, usb to serial converter and cross cable.

There are several ways for upgrading Ontap, but the main idea remains the same, you have to update the dot version residing on vol0. First you have to mount \vol0 on a unix based server (I used RH in my case).
Now remove all IOs activity with the storage box. Ask the relevant system administrators to make sure that all the connected applications are closed. Once the connected machines/hosts powered off you can reboot your filer after terminating all running services (cifs, nfs etc). Mount \vol0 on a directory (\mnt) using simple mount command. Now copy the update package to \mnt\etc\software. Unzip the package and install it on \mnt. (i.e. ./install-netapp /mnt). Next step is to go to your primary filer and just execute download command. Here you can connect to RLM mode to observe status messages during reboot process; these detailed messages are always helpful to identify any possible issue. You can verify version after reboot by using version -b command. Now repeat same steps on 2nd filer. Once complete verify the version on both filers. It is a good practice to reboot your filer before the activity to identify and resolve any existing issue before you proceed with update process.

The above mention procedure is one of many upgrading options available for Ontap upgradation. You can also use windows server or simple client machine and put the update package on the cifs share. Always remember to take all the necessary precautions / prerequisite mentioned in supporting documents for the particular upgrade option.After successful completion you may start your clustered database, any connected server and application servers. 

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