Non-disruptively upgrading ONTAP

Be sure to also check out:

How to Perform Continuous ONTAP Upgrades Without Sacrificing IT Stability

A while back, I wrote about why you’d want to upgrade to ONTAP 9.2, especially if you are using ONTAP for VMware environments. I mentioned the ability to do non-disruptive upgrades as a motivating factor.

Then, someone asked in the comments for a post on performing an upgrade… Unfortunately, the systems I have that can be upgraded to 9.2 is already on 9.2 (because 9.2 is awesome). The other systems I have are FAS3270s, which are not supported with 9.2. But, I’ll still show you how to get there. I just can’t give you screenshots or video of me doing the actual upgrade.

Before you start

Whenever you want to upgrade any software, you should do some planning. NetApp provides some tools to help with that, such as the Interoperability Matrix andĀ Upgrade Advisor.

From the KB:

The Data ONTAP Upgrade Advisor is a tool within My AutoSupport that will provide a plan with steps and commands to successfully perform a Data ONTAP upgrade or revert. The plan also contains context-sensitive links to the following:

  • Pre and post upgrade checks
  • Issues and risk exposures
  • Data ONTAP Release Notes
  • Data ONTAP binaries
  • Links to shelf module, system, and diagnostic FW

Note: AutoSupport must be enabled and working for the tool to work. Data ONTAP Upgrade AdvisorĀ  uses the information within the latest AutoSupport available from the system to generate the plan. To enable or configure AutoSupport, visit the AutoSupport page on the NetApp Support site.

Interoperability Matrix (IMT)

Start with this first to save yourself some time and headaches. Why try to generate an upgrade plan for your systems if you don’t even know what versions are supported for your platform? In the new IMT, you have several choices in how to search:


Choose the one that works best for you.

My AutoSupport

Keep in mind that there is a new My AutoSupport interface, so be sure to check out this short video overview:

Finding Upgrade Advisor

When you open up a NetApp system in MyAutoSupport, there are two places you can access Upgrade Advisor.

The side menu:


And the “Upgrade Recommendation” section:


Once you click on either, you will be taken to a screen where it will auto-populate the cluster’s serial numbers and allow you to start the upgrade process. From this page, click next:


The next page will take you to a screen that shows your your systems. From here, you can deviate from the recommended version and select your desired ONTAP version.


Click on the hyperlinked target version and choose your desired version. Click the check box to apply to all systems.


After the version is selected, click next.

The following page allows you to specify what type of upgrade you want (ANDU is non-disruptive; DU is disruptive), as well as if you want to generate a revert plan, what file format, etc. Once you’re done, select “Generate” and a plan will be emailed to you.


In the case of my system, I can’t upgrade straight from 8.3.2 to 9.2. I have to go to 9.1 first. Upgrade Advisor will warn me, but ideally I’d have checked the Interoperability Matrix first.


I click previous, select 9.1P6 (the current latest 9.1 patch release) and click next and then “Generate.”

I’ll see a green box telling me the request was successful. Then I can navigate to t he “Upgrade Request Status” page to see the progress.


From here, I can download the plan or wait for the email to arrive. The email will send a zip file, so if your email servers block .zip files, use the download process above.

The zip file will have the PDF or XLS versions of the upgrade and revert plans for each system you requested. These files will have a slew of pre-upgrade checks for you to perform. Once those are complete, you can begin your non-disruptive upgrade, as per the guide.

Here’s a nifty Datalink video of upgrades and best practices:

You can also get more info upgrading from 8.3.x to 9.x in this post:

While that post shows upgrading to 9.1, the same process works for 9.2.