NetApp Clustered Data ONTAP & Qtree Breakout

NetApp Clustered Data ONTAP merges the ease of use, efficiency and advanced data protection features that have led the NAS market for years, with the ability to cluster controllers for massive and easy scalability. Unfortunately for customers though, it’s not a straightforward path to migrate from 7mode NetApp systems to those running Clustered Data ONTAP.

Specifically, the 8.3 version of Data ONTAP doesn’t support Qtree file structures or 32 bit aggregates. Customers that have been loyal to NetApp over the years are most impacted by these changes, as their data needs to be transformed prior to an upgrade to 8.3

NetApp Clustered Data ONTAP & Qtree Breakout

Qtree breakout is the process of converting Qtree file structures to the volume structures that are supported in the Clustered Data ONTAP. NetApp doesn’t have an automated way to accomplish Qtree breakouts for customers. The native toolset for migration offered by NetApp uses the 7 mode transition tool (7MTT) to orchestrate Snap Mirror based data migration from old to new systems.

When Snap Mirror is used as the means to move data, all data must move “as-is” and can’t be modified on the way over. This means that Qtree breakout must be performed manually- by copying data to a temporary “swing space” where data can be saved and manually modified, and then copied again to the Clustered DataONTAP target. This process is labor intensive, time consuming, and often linked to incomplete migration or errors that impact data integrityand availability. Often, consultants orchestrate this work with huge price tags and migration timelines that drag on for months.

A host based NAS migration solution is a better approach than manual effort. Such a software platform that has API integration with Data ONTAP can perform Qtree breakout and 32 bit aggregate conversion as the data is moving, and validate that everything has been converted properly. It eliminates the need for swing space, and reduces the time that it takes to move data. The cost is demonstrated to be lower in numerous customer environments that have used such a tool, compared to those that go down the manual migration path.

For long time NetApp customers with large amounts of data stored in 7mode systems, getting to Clustered Data ONTAP shouldn’t be such an ordeal. A better approach exists in the form of an enterprise class software platform, tightly integrated with NetApp storage systems and designed to solve this problem while dramatically decreasing complexity, migration timelines and cost.

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