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We were quoted for the following equipment below so I started doing some research on how to get started as I am totally new to this. My Confusion is with the controllers, does it come with disks or do I need to purchase the additional disk shelves. I get the fact that the disk shelves are for expansion but what do the internal disks on the actual controller used for , just the ontap OS?  Any help would be appreciated as  far as videos , documentation etc. Thank You


NetApp FAS3240 w/ IOXM 1.8PB 600 Dual enclosure HA; 2 controllers in two 3U chassis, total of 6U 16GB 4 4Gb FC, 6Gb SAS, GbE FC; FCoE; IP SAN (iSCSI); NFS; CIFS; HTTP; FTP, (18) X412A-R5 NetApp 600GB 15K 3GB SAS DS4243 Expansion DS4243 4U (for 3.5” SATA/SAS/SSD) 8.5TB 5 6 slots free for upgrades in current expansion

Re: Newbie

It appears that you are being quoted a FAS3240HA system with a single DS4243 external shelf that is only partially populated (18 of 24 drives).  Keep in mind that of these 18, 6 will have to be dedicated for the ONTAP OS (3 per controller) and you need at least 2 hot spares (best practice is 2 per controller)...this only leaves you with 10 disks for a data aggregate (the pool of disks allocated using RAID-DP), which is only 3.85TB of usable capacity over 8 data drives (2 of the 10 would be for RAID parity).  This is painfully small and doesn't give much performance.  You'd be better off buying a newer smaller system like a FAS2500 series, which lets you save disks by partitioning the disks for the OS rather than dedicating them.  It sounds like you're purchasing this aftermarket, so be very careful as there are major implications on the licensing and support that could be missed and cause you issues as well.  As long as you have a valid NetApp Support account, you will have access to their online documentation, which is very thorough, but if you haven't worked with ONTAP in the past you should probably use professional services (from a VAR or NetApp themselves) to help roll this out for you and train you on day to day management (which is minimal).  


I hope that helps!

Re: Newbie

Thanks for the Information! 


Just one piece of detail to add, we plan on using this storage for iscsi raw LUNS if you will  straight to Linux systems. Right now we have NFS mounts to Windows Fileservers and it's causing slow performance. The actual OS (VMware vmdk) is stored on an HP SAN so we don't plan on creating any OS disks using the NetAPP

Re: Newbie

I have to concur with James' previous response.  The FAS3240 HA pair you're being quoted must be aftermarket, in that NetApp stopped selling this model in 2013.  There are a ton of them available in the aftermarket, most that I've seen coming with a generic set of Data OnTap features "licensed", generally 7-mode style.


It is legal to sell the license rights to the OS/feature set that was last installed on them with the hardware, so that isn't the direct concern.  Rather, you have no idea what OS level you might be getting based on the quote.  Therefore you have no idea what old bugs might also be present, and being aftermarket you have no legal ability to update the OS going forward.  If you're looking to use this for any production style workload, that should raise a significant concern.


As James also mentioned, your "useable" capacity in such a small system (not even one shelf of disks) is very low.  While quoted at 8.5TB, the useable space is a good chunk less.  If as is most likely only a 7-mode OS (based on licensing and such) you could get more than James calculated but it won't be as much as the raw physical as you think.  Assumption is that you'll also not really use any standard NetApp best practice so that you can optimize your available storage.  Deduplication will help.


The key takeaway is that I hope you aren't paying a lot for this system.  James is also correct in that a small and "new" 2500 series, at this scale, will likely meet your needs, possibly not cost much different than what you have been quoted, come with 3 year hardware warranty, and entitle you to support services from NetApp with all bug fixes at the up to date OS.  Especially where you may have limited experience in NetApp full access to support, documentation, etc. may be of significant beneffit.



Hope this helps.


Bob Greenwald

Senior Systems Engineer | cStor

NCIE SAN ONTAP, Data Protection



Kudos and accepted solutions are always appreciated.

Re: Newbie

Thank You Both!