Upgrading NetApp Data ONTAP with HFS

I wanted to take a quick moment to document the awesomeness that is a quick and easy upgrade of Data ONTAP 7-mode with HFS. HFS is a lightweight web server that’s run as an executable and lets you quickly and easily transfer your Data ONTAP images from a Windows machine to the FreeBSD-based NetApp operating system. I can’t take credit for finding this gem of the storage admin. That goes to Mike Mills (@MikeasaService) who found this while we were implementing NetApp systems in a war zone. Thanks, Mike! Of course, if you’re a Mac-man (or gal, but that doesn’t really roll of the tongue as nicely) or a Linux dude, you can easily mount the /etc/software directory using NFS in which case you don’t need a web server. But I digress…on to the steps!

Download Data ONTAP image – from the NetApp Support site (support.netapp.com) and follow the prompts and be sure to download the correct version, in this case, 7-mode

Read the release notes and upgrade guide. Be sure you know what versions of software, like SnapDrive and SnapManager, this particular Data ONTAP version supports.

Download HFS http://www.rejetto.com/hfs/ – this is a great, light and free web server that’s extremely useful for upgrades like this. You run it on your admin box, your laptop – wherever you like. Mr. Mills, mentioned above, liked it so much he donated $100 to the dude who created it. Of course, if you’re running a Mac or a Linux box, you can just mount an NFS export instead. You’ll need access to /etc/software

Once you’ve downloaded HFS, you’ll need to ensure you have network connectivity to each controller from wherever you’re running HFS. Simply click and drag the Data ONTAP image file to the Virtual File System window on the left hand side the HFS application, like the above picture. Click on the image file you uploaded and you’ll see the URL change to include the filename. This is the URL you’ll use in the command to update the controllers.

Start a session, either SSH or serial, to a controller. As a note, be sure to read the Preparing to Upgrade section of the Upgrade Guide for your Data ONTAP version before you continue. Even though Data ONTAP upgrades are non-disruptive, failure to ensure your environment is suitable for an upgrade can cause major downtime.

Using the URL in HFS, run the command

software update

The output will be similar to that shown below

filer-a> software update
software: You can cancel this operation by hitting Ctrl-C in the next 6 seconds.
software: Depending on system load, it may take many minutes
software: to complete this operation. Until it finishes, you will
software: not be able to use the console.
software: copying to 82P3_q_image.tgz
software: 100% file read from location.
software: /etc/software/82P3_q_image.tgz has been copied.
Software update started on node filer-a. Updating image2 package: file://localhost/mroot/etc/software/82P3_q_image.tgz current image: image1
Listing package contents.
Decompressing package contents.
Invoking script (validation phase).
INSTALL running in check only mode
Mode of operation is UPDATE
Current image is image1
Alternate image is image2
Package MD5 checksums pass
Versions are compatible
Available space on boot device is 1683 MB
Required  space on boot device is 391 MB
Kernel binary matches install machine type
Invoking script (install phase). This may take up to 30 minutes.
Mode of operation is UPDATE
Current image is image1
Alternate image is image2
Package MD5 checksums pass
Versions are compatible
Available space on boot device is 1683 MB
Required  space on boot device is 391 MB
Kernel binary matches install machine type
Getting ready to install image
Syncing device...
Extracting to /cfcard/x86_64/freebsd/image2...
x cap.xml
x fw.tgz
x kernel
x metadata.xml
x perl.tgz
x platform.ko
x platfs2g.img
x rootfs.img
Installed MD5 checksums pass
Installing diagnostic and firmware files
Firmware MD5 checksums pass
Installation complete. image2 updated on node filer-a.
image2 will be set as the default boot image after a clean shutdown.
software: installation of 82P3_q_image.tgz completed.
Please type "reboot" for the changes to take effect.

Then reboot and you’re done. If you’re serial’d in, you can watch the filer come up and make sure everything’s well.

During boot, you can see the new version loaded. Hooray…and finally, once logged back in, you can do a sysconfig or version to view the new ONTAP version. Enjoy.



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