ONTAP Hardware

FAS2020 controller replacement while preserving data




We have a FAS2020 in a single controller configuration whose controller went down. This Filer is no longer under NetApp's support.


We have ordered a new controller but we'd like to know how to go about it to install it while preserving all DataONTAP settings and all data on the disks.


This is really an unconfortable situation. We were supposed to upgrade this Filer years ago but kept waiting until this disaster occured. NetApp cannot help us since there is no support for this Filer. You guys are our only hope.


Thank you!



Hi @angelshark,

I'm afraid this is not going to be an easy process, however I will try to explain what you could do.


The first and most important thing is to back up all your data, as there is no guarantee these process will work.


You should look at is whether the new system will have the same version of ONTAP or not, operating in the same mode (7-mode or cluster mode):

- If your old system is 7-mode and the new one is cluster-mode, then the only thing you can do is copy your data off to a different location from the 7-mode system and then move them to your new cluster-mode machine (or use the 7-mode Transition Tool).

Once the data has been moved to the new machine, you will be able to physically move your disk to the new machine too but you will have to wipe them.


- If both old and new system are running the same ONTAP version in the same mode, then you can move the disks physically to the new controller and reassign them to the new System IDs in order to have ONTAP reassimilate your aggregates with your data still in.






Thanks for your answer but how do you backup data from a dead controller?


I'm not migrating from Filer A to Filer B, I'm just replacing the controller in the same Filer.


I'm assuming that when I plug in the new controller it will not boot since the information in the NVRAM will not match the rest of the system...


Then simply follow controller replacement procedure available on support portal. In a nutshell, replace controller, boot into maintenance mode, reassign disks to new sysid. FAS2020 runs 7G so there are no issues with restoring boot media content.


Sorry, I missed the single controller part.

At this point, you can proceed like @aborzenkov suggests but you need to make sure the new controller runs the same version of ONTAP in the same mode.


@maffo wrote:

you need to make sure the new controller runs the same version of ONTAP in the same mode.

Just move boot device from old to new controller, that's the most straightforward way.


For what I remember, FAS2020 used Compact Flash and not the USB boot device which is used in newer platforms, so moving it it's most likely impossible.


@maffo wrote:

Compact Flash ... moving it it's most likely impossible.

Come on, of course it is possible. Unforutnately after NetApp removed FAS2000 documentation from portal I cannot provide link to prove it, but you as internal should still be able to find it (I have local copy).


It is possible only if the new controller they have will take a CF card, otherwise they will not be able to install the CF card on, for example, FAS25xx which requires a USB boot device.

Starting from FAS22xx, the boot device is USB and no longer CF card.


OK, I see what you mean. But you cannot really replace FAS2020 controller with anything else - you would need to replace the whole enclosure together with HDDs. So I sort of presumed this is about controller replacement.


Thank you for all the comments.


As far as I understand, I need to remove the CF card from old controller and insert into new one? What's stored in this CF card?


We are only replacing the controller, enclosure and HDDs are kept.


Where do I find the procedure for controller replacement?


Thank you.



Please be very clear about what you're trying to accomplish.

Is the "new controller" a new FAS2020 PCM motherboard?

Or is the "new controller" a new FAS system? If so, which model?