I routinely download them to simulate different environments ranging from older 7-mode to earlier ONTAP releases. There are customers that cannot upgrade so I try to position a simulated environment to assist. Most of the files are *as-is* and not supported anyway. Why remove them?
Please, PLEASE put them back! or at the least re-enable the old Simulate ONTAP download page. Right now it redirects to the "current" tools site limiting selections to 9.5 / 9.6 and 9.7
That's a fair concern. I think it would be easier if one could get access to previous simulator images. Fortunately, I have taken snapshot of most versions and that helps in switching between versions. But, then there are times when I don't have the version I need, which means I have to either downgrade or upgrade using production-code depending upon the version I need for testing purpose. But, this requires some patience and time at your disposal. Having those versions readily available will save us lot of time.
I completely agree: any and all previous version which were ever available should be made available again. There are any number of scenarios where it would be extremely valuable to be able to do at least some testing in the simulated environment.
Unfortunately, real-world constraints often lead to very old versions still in in-production. Getting them upgraded or migrated to a currently supported release is often the goal of testing with older versions.
"NetApp block the people who are interested to learn" How? You would not install windows 98 right now to learn MS Windows. NetApp is keeping the most recent ones available for people to test, learn and fiddle. You want to start with at least 9.5 these days if not 9.7. The main reason to keep the older ones available is for testing.