ONTAP Hardware

Can I upgrade a FAS3200 to add an I/O Expansion Module (IOXM) after a system has been installed at the customer site?


Can I upgrade a FAS3200 to add an I/O Expansion Module (IOXM) after a system has been installed at the customer site?

The Solution Center has received multiple requests to upgrade an existing or recently shipped FAS3200 system that did not ship with an IOXM module to add it in the field, the answer below will hopefully answer this question for everyone.




No. It is not supported. Adding in a IOXM module to either any system in the field is not supported. If an Expansion module is required then a chassis (box) swap will have to take place. If you need today or you think the customer will need in the future the expandability of the IOXM then order the system with the IOXM module with the initial order. The only systems that can not use a IOXM module are the FAS3210 and FAS6210 systems. These are either ordered with Single Controllers (FAS3210/FAS6210) or dual controllers (FAS3210A/FAS6210A). The FAS3240 / FAS3270 are available in three configurations, first, a single controller solution with 1 controller and 1 IOXM module per chassis (FAS3240E/FAS3270E). If you want dual controllers then you have the option of installing both controllers in 1 chassis which doesn’t allow for future PCIe expansion since the IOXM modules are not included or finally using two of the FAS32X0E to make a FAS32X0AE which will require 2 chassis.

If the customer has a FAS3240A and needs the additional expansion capabilities then they can upgrade the FAS3240A by purchasing an Upgrade to the FAS3240AE, this will entail the return of the FAS3240A solution and replacing that 1 chassis with the FAS3240AE which will be shipped in 2 chassis. This will require the REPLACING of the single chassis with a dual chassis solution. This will also require more rack / cabinet space sine the FAS3240AE will be in 2 chassis instead of just one. The same holds true for the FAS3270A systems.

Also note that upgrading a FAS3210A to a FAS3240A or FAS3270A will require a chassis (box) swap. You can not pull the controllers from one type of FAS32X0 system and replace them with another type.


This would be great information to add into the FAS32x0 Tech FAQ:



Thank you for your suggestion.  The march release of the FAQ was updated:

A FAS/V3210 standalone controller can have a second controller added to become FAS/V3210A.
A FAS/V3240E and FAS/V3270E single-chassis standalone controller can have a second chassis with a controller and IOXM to become FAS/V3240AE and FAS/V3270AE.
It is important to note that converting a FAS/V3240 or FAS/V3270 from the “A” configuration without an IOXM to the “AE” configuration with an IOXM is not supported.


Thanks for the update! 

Of course, it would be great if there was a field upgrade path...



In the mean time, there is

From the same FAQ:


FAS/V3210 standalone controller can have a second controller added to become FAS/V3210A.

FAS/V3240E and FAS/V3270E single-chassis standalone controller can have a second chassis with a controller and IOXM to become FAS/V3240AE and FAS/V3270AE.

FAS/V3240A and FAS/V3270A single-chassis standalone controller can have a second chassis and IOXM added to convert to FAS/V3240AE and FAS/V3270AE (September 2011 quote tool update and conversion procedure posted on NOW site).


Did this come out?  I remember reading it too but didn't see any change in the field alerts to confirm.  Hopefully we can convert chassis in the field... I try to always configure IOXM regardless on the models that support it.. I also heard something that 3210 might support ioxm down the road but don't know if just a rumor or not.


That's actually nice news

I thought there was no 'proper' technical reason behind not allowing this upgrade in first place, now it's finally confirmed.

Still, including IOXM upfront has its benefits (e.g. one can get away without a downtime when adding a card, but not when adding IOXM), yet it makes the whole story about modular architecture far more compelling.


There was a PROM setting that we weren't allowed to change so there must be a way to change the setting to IOXM or no IOXM...but not sure if field enabled yet or if put in the docs but not available yet.


“Adding a second chassis to an existing HA system”: http://now.netapp.com/NOW/knowledge/docs/hardware/filer/215-06156_A0.pdf


With best regards

Andrey Borzenkov

Senior system engineer

Service operations


"To IOXM, or not to IOXM, that is the question"

(sorry, I just couldn't resist!)


Shipping another system and trading in the existing one ... instead of just adding the parts needed in the field doesn't sound reasonable unless there is a support issue that isn't apparent.  Any competent PSE could add a new chassis and separate the controllers...  We have been configuring mostly AE systems anyway but this is not great news for non E customers that need an upgrade.  Hopefully the upgrade will be an even trade for controller and licenses.

Is there a technical reason for the hard line on this??  Is the chassis tied to the installed controllers from the factory and can't be moved for some reason?  If a customer trades in a FAS3240A for a FAS3240AE, will they only have to cover the cost of the additional chassis and 2x IOXM modules or is it not an even trade for like controllers?



I acknowlege your concern and have forwarded it to our responsible NetApp team.   .  


So this implies that in MetroCluster I am forced to either use IOXM or use two cluster pairs? Somehow this was not made very obvious in available docs.

Does it mean that FAS3200 chassis has hard coded system type including presence of IOXM?


I understand your concern.  I have forwarded your question to our technical resources. 


Thank you. Technically should be no issue.. Otherwise an rma for a failed controller module would also require a chassis swap.

I am more interested in the upgrade quote if like-for-like credit is given for controller and licenses, or if there is an added cost to trade a 3240 for a 3240.

Typos Sent on Blackberry Wireless


Technically should be no issue.

This will. I just had chance to ask NetApp guy about it. A and E versions use physically different chassis which are not interchangeable. Pity


I don't see a difference in the chassis...but could be wrong.  Parts finder shows one chassis option if we RMA a standalone, A or AE model... Maybe I am missing something or we are all being told different things.  http://now.netapp.com/eservice/partDetails.do?partNumber=FAS-V32XX-CHASSIS-INT-R6&productGuid=4C20A78EBB24009EE10080000A63AE6B&rohsCompliant=R6


My question was explicitly whether I can reuse the same chassis to add IOXM or not. Answer was - you need different chassis, it is not marketing trick, they are physically different. It is quite possible that the only difference is EEPROM where type is recorded and it is programmed for specific configuration before sending replacement to customer. Of course the guy could just repeat what he was told.

In any case as long as this is not officially supported by NetApp it is rather academical question.


Agreed.. But an official answer would be good.. To know about trade-in credit toos. And especially for RMAs on a bad chassis in the field.. If a chassis is replaced it would be an issue if a personality is set..unless the controller handles setting it.

Typos Sent on Blackberry Wireless


After addressing the concerns posted about this article with our Product team, here is thier statment which best answers your concerns:

"FAS3240A and FAS3270A upgrades to the “AE” equivalent is not supported.  During new platform training sessions upgrade paths were covered and it was emphasized the importance of selling FAS3240 and FAS3270 with IOXMs since changing from “A” to “AE” at some later date isn’t something anyone could count on.  Understandably, folks want to know more about the whys on this limitation.  The most important why is the upgrade path has not been tested, the results of it unknown, and given this isn’t something NetApp can support.

Having said that, an evaluation is underway on the “A” to “AE” upgrade path.  If we are able to support the “A” to “AE” upgrade path at some point we’ll certainly convey this information to the field."

I Russ George's intent of this article was, and is to alert those who may have missed the importance of understanding what the upgrade options and limits are.

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