On a new installation without a root volume already present, are there any alternatives to the 4a option? With the new 2TB drives, it takes about 8 hours to initialize, causing an installation to take 2 days. There must be an alternative though I have never heard of one. Does this procedure seem like it would work? Netboot, create an aggregate, create a volume and map it, create a software directory, copy an Ontap installation file, run software install, set the root volume, reboot.
If you can create an aggregate, then you can jumpstart without having to wait to zero all the drives... from maintenance mode you can't mark a volume as root, but you can mark an aggregate as root. When you mark an aggregate as root ONTAP creates a volume named "AUTOROOT"... then you can install ONTAP after booting and running through setup...then you can rename AUTOROOT to "vol0" or "root" which I prefer.
The issue is creating the aggregate...with ONTAP on flash already you can boot (netboot will be the same booting with no aggregate) but if it has no aggregates then that is one of the issues where we have to run 4a to get an aggregate (unless you can put 2-3 of the drives in another system to create an aggregate).
Systems do get shipped without aggregates frequently. Depending how the rep or reseller orders the system I think. It won't be configured at the factory, it will just be a controller and blank shelves. So it seems to me the question is whether or not an aggregate can be created when it's netbooted. If so, this should work?
If you can create an aggregate then you can mark that aggregate as root from maintenance mode (option 5)...but one of the issues with all spares and a controller is no way to create the aggregate that I know of (netboot will boot the same ontap that is on flash)... we often jump start a system by creating an aggregate then move those drives to the new system if starting from scratch, especially when we know the drives are zeroed already.