ONTAP Migration Services – Typical Use Case for NetApp’s Copy Free Transfer (CFT)
One of Tego Data’s clients needed to migrate from NetApp ONTAP 7-Mode to ONTAP Clustered-Mode with minimal to zero downtime.
The first option was Copy Based Transition (CBT) via NetApp’s 7-Mode Transition Tool (7mtt) tool. It is a great solution, but it usually requires more maintenance windows over a longer period of time. In order to have a successful transition, a copy of the existing data must be migrated from the source to the new storage system. For virtualized systems this typically leverages storage vMotion to transition everything so it is relatively painless. However, for physical servers, migration is more complicated and time consuming and it can lead to a lengthy maintenance window.
When Tego Data and the client began this journey there were two options under consideration based on the parameters of the use case.
The second option considered was Copy Free Transition (CFT) an in-place transition method, introduced in late 2015, also part of NetApp’s 7mtt tool. With CFT, if all prerequisite work is done properly, the actual cutover is just one maintenance window. However, the prerequisite work can result in maintenance windows (i.e. outages), so be prepared and schedule the work accordingly to minimize interruptions to your business. However, in some cases, the prerequisite work doesn’t require a maintenance window. If this is the case for your environment, CFT is unquestionably the best migration tool from NetApp’s 7-Mode to ONTAP Clustered-Mode (now ONTAP 9). What’s happening in your environment will dictate the appropriate course of action and Tego Data can provide any level of assistance to ensure a successful transition with the least amount of planned interruption.
We consider the following to determine if NetApp Copy-Free Transition is a valid option:
- Source systems need to be running NetApp Data ONTAP 8.1.4P4 or later
- Source systems are compatible with CFT
- Source aggregates to be transitioned all 64-bit
- Source environment contains compatible shelf types/modules for CFT use
- Destination environment running Data ONTAP 8.3.2 or later
- Destination environment based on eligible NetApp platform
- NetApp data protection solution in use is SnapVault, SnapMirror or None
Ultimately, Tego Data and the client determined the CFT operation would be the best solution for this particular use case
7mtt enables you to collect inventory and to assess 7-Mode controllers, hosts, switches, and applications for transition. After assessment, you can use CFT to migrate your data and configurations to ONTAP. In CFT, you disconnect all the disk shelves from a 7-Mode HA pair and connect them to an HA pair in the target cluster. CFT can significantly reduce TCO by enabling the reuse of 7-Mode disk shelves. Listed here is graphical representation of the CFT process to help illustrate the steps in the process.
With CFT you utilize the hardware you already have, transition in around 30 minutes typically by eliminating the transition time associated with the size of aggregates migrating, and both virtual and physical workloads can be migrated in a single maintenance window.
The overall duration for performing the transition is faster as no data copy is required. The primary object of a CFT is an HA node pair. You must move all the disk shelves from the 7-Mode HA pair to the target cluster nodes. The metadata of the 7-Mode aggregates and volumes is converted to the ONTAP format by the 7- Mode Transition Tool. The time taken for this conversion does not depend on the size of the aggregates or volumes. For example, the time taken to convert a 10 GB aggregate to the ONTAP format is the same as the time required to convert a 100 TB aggregate.
In this case the client had approximately 60TB of data which needed to be migrated to ONTAP Cluster-Mode. Using a CBT approach utilizing client’s 10Gb network infrastructure would have taken approximately 14-15 hours to transition it. However, that would be the approximate amount of time required whether it was done all at once or if it were broken up into separate windows. Also, whether done in one sitting or broken up into separate CBT jobs, the window or windows would each require an outage for the client’s business units. Using CFT instead, the actual time it went to transition from operating on 7mode to running on ONTAP Cluster-Mode was approximately 2 hours because we took the necessary time to prepare in advance with zero-impact to customer’s operation. Working together with client’s staff we successfully migrated from ONTAP 7-Mode running on a FAS3100 platform to ONTAP Cluster-Mode 8.3.2 running on a powerhouse of a solution with an AFF8000 series cluster. We implemented a better zoning configuration for block storage, reconfigured aspects of the environment for improved efficiency and operation, as well as made improvements to some of the host configurations in the environment.
Our understanding of the environment, selecting the right NetApp migration tools, and the synergy with the customer resulted in a very successful migration engagement. Overall, with proper preparation and the use of CFT, we ensured minimal downtime and a smooth migration to a clustered ONTAP environment. The environment is now more resilient, easier to manage, leverages high performance all flash technology, and enables our client to benefit from the latest advancements of ONTAP now and in the future.
Tego Data’s staff brings 30 years of combined experience and expertise with the NetApp migration options to ensure a successful migration. We strive to be the absolute best at what we do so we can provide the guidance and direction that helps our customers confront the challenges of 24/7 data management.
For more information on Tego Data’s ONTAP Transition services or for any IT related project, please contact us via http://www.tegodata.com/contact, email firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at (919)792-1741
Latest on NetApp ONTAP 9 Data Management Software -> http://www.tegodata.com/docs/netapp/DS-3231-0916_ONTAP_9_LR.pdf?x23477