Active IQ and AutoSupport Discussions

Updating a FAS3170


Hi guys, bit of a noob question here but I was wondering if someone could give me a "10,000" foot overview of what is involved with updating a NetApp FAS3170?

Is the version of ONTAP different from the "firmware" of the unit?  Does an individual controller have both a firmware version and an ONTAP version?  If so, when the ONTAP update is done, does this also update the firmware or are these done seperately?

I understand there is extensive documentation for updating array's and I'll certainly be looking into that but would be great if someone could present a really quick overview as to how it all works.




Firmware and Data ONTAP are different things. Data ONTAP upgrades include firmware which today gets installed automatically (on reboot); for older Data ONTAP versions you may need to manually flash firmware. Firmware is also available separately in case you need it before it is included in next full Data ONTAP update.


Firmware is for the motherboard & it contains diagnostics files.Its alwsys good to have the latest motherboard firmware as it will contain the latest diag files.When you upgrade Data ONTAP,the below gets updated:

Disk firmware

Shelf firmware

Motherboard firmware

Its recommended to do the disk & shelf firmware updates online* as it saves you time during ONTAP upgrade.

You may get the detailed upgrade procedure in the upgrade guide & also the MyAutosupport ( upgrade advisor ) tool can generate a nice upgrade procedure for you.This procedure will analyze your storage system currently installed ONTAP + all firmware & give you guidance whether you could do a non disruptive ONTAP upgrade or not.


I agree... I like doing shelf/disk firmware a few days before the ONTAP upgrade. The ONTAP image might not have the latest firmware but if you push the latest and files they are ONTAP will just overwrite the same version files and leave the newer files.  For controller firmware though, the filename is not if you push controller firmware zip files then ONTAP after... ONTAP will overwrite the controller firmware you pushed to flash for use on reboot.  So I like to push controller firmware separate or at least after the ONTAP upgrade so that the controller firmware isn't overwritten with an older version.


Hello Andrew, I have always upgraded BIOS/System Firmware, RLM Firmware,Disk shelf firmware and disk firmware separately before doing the  ONTAP upgrade. It is  important to know that BIOS/System Firmware, RLM Firmware and Disk shelf firmware require a system reboot. Thus, its absolutely important to check and perform a cluster failover to test if the cluster failover works. RLM firmware can be done outside the cut over window, because rebooting the RLM wont impact the actual controller and can be done via out of band mgmt.Disk firmware update is non disruptive and can be performed while controller is in production.

Prior to ONTAP Upgrade, Check for SnapMirror compatibility if you are using snapmirror. Both Source and destination are expected to be at a required ONTAP level for Snapmirrors to work.

Also backup ifconfig-a, etc/rc and etc/hosts files before you start with any of the upgrades.

Prepare as much as you can, and if you use CIFS try to upload all the required software downloads to /etc/software directory. That will save you a lot of time. I use the RLM to do the upgrades or use the serial port, to avoid any SSH or network timeouts.

Good Luck!



We often combine the controller firmware and ontap upgrade to have a single takeover/giveback...with the caveat to extract the controller firmware after the ontap extract since if it has an older file it will overwrite the newer one.  If there is enough downtime window, doing each separately with a separate takeover/giveback for firmware and ontap does give segmentation that is easier to troubleshoot if any issues though.