ONTAP Hardware

FAS3210 with single DS4243 (SAS) and DS14MK2 (SATA) shelves


We currently have a Netapp FAS3210 system that we will be standing up.  The system consists of a FAS3210 head with dual controllers and a DS4243 (SAS,24x600GB,15K) and a DS14MK2 (SATA,14x1TB) shelf.  Based on what I am reading in this forum I am considering expanding aggr0 and using the following configuration:

FAS3210 Controller 1

aggr0 = 22 SAS disks, RAID-DP (DS4243)

2 spare disks (DS4243)

FAS3210 Controller 2

aggr0 = 12 SATA disks, RAID-DP (DS14MK2)

2 spare disks (DS14MK2)

This environment will be used for shared storage for a virtual infrastructure (VMware vSphere 5).  The SAS Volumes in aggr0 will be used for virtual machine requiring more disk I/O and the SATA volumes will be used for virtual machines requiring less disk I/O.

Does this look like an acceptable configuration based on the hardware?  What are the risks of having the root volume (vol0) on the same aggregate, but a different volume than the VMs.



Please read the attached document for better understand of NetApp and VMware best practices. I highly recommend to take decisions on the design aspects based on your business requirements. If you think you need some expertise in this it is always advisable to contact NetApp TC for your account.

Hope it helps.

Best Regards,



Thanks Ravi, That is an excellent document that I have referenced many times during the configuration of our current virtual infrastructure.  My concern is more on the Netapp configuration and if using a single aggr0 (including root vol0) on each disk shelf (1 SAS, 1 SATA) poses any risks.  With the proposed configuration of RAID-DP and 2 spares per shelf it would seem highly unlikely that I could loose this aggregate and/or the root volume.


YW Sir!

  • It is recommended that the root volume be in a separate aggregate that does not include data volumes or other user data. However, for small storage systems where cost concerns outweigh resiliency, a FlexVol based root volume on a regular aggregate might be more appropriate.
  • You should avoid storing user data in the root volume, regardless of the type of volume used for the root volume.

In my environment I mange more than 18 FAS filers and I do have couple of filers with root volume and data volumes on same aggregate, but they are very small storage systems.

Hope it helps!




What do you consider a small storage system?  My system is simply a FAS3210 with 1 SAS and 1 SATA shelf, but it may grow to a few more shelves.

If I were expand my Netapp and add some new disk shelves could I separate the root volume out to its own aggregate at that point?


Well let me put it in a different way, the root volumes that i have along with data volumes on the same aggregate are our lab systems. I personally go with the best practices and so i recommend having root on a seperate aggregate. Yes, you can always move the root volume, but its just more work. I recommend doing it during the initial setup phase. If at all in future you want to move it, this is the procedure.

1.       Disable the cluster: cf disable

2.       Check the size of current vol0: vol size vol0

3.       Create a new root volume on the SATA aggr:   vol create vol0_new aggr0_sas <SIZE>

4.       Copy the data to the new volume: ndmpcopy /vol/vol0 /vol/vol0_new

5.       Rename the old root volume: vol rename vol0 vol0_old

6.       Rename the new root volume: vol rename vol0_new vol0

7.       Flag the new root volume as the root volume: vol options vol0 root

8.       Reboot the controller: reboot

9.       Confirm the SAS aggr now hosts the root vol0: aggr status                                                                                                                         on the left under Options it should say root on aggr0_sas

10.   Offline and destroy the old volume vol0: vol offline vol0_old    and    vol destroy vol0_old

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