NetApp drive replacement warranty contract vs not

10 pts.
Tags:
Fibre channel
NAS
NetApp
Seagate
So I have taken a job where the entire network is falling apart and I have a couple NetApp filers. The FAS 3020 is still under contract and working fine with 7.0.4. It uses Seagate ST3146807FC FC-AL 10.6k 146GB fibre disks. The F840 however has a couple broken disks that need to be replaced and is out of contract. It has 6.4.1 and uses Seagate ST373405FC FC-AL 10k 73 GB Fibre disks. Now someone told me I could just get an after market disk and replace it and all would be good. However, one of the guys in another office said, “Can’t do that because NetApp has something special built into the drives so that it won’t accept anything other than one that has been RMA’d from NetApp.” And “That we need to get off the Filer all together” in favor of something more like FreeNAS or OpenFiler. So what’s the resolution here? Expensive contract with NetApp, aftermarket drives, Linux Filer, or just live with the broken drives?

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There are a number of ways you can go. Lets cover those about continuing to use the NetApp.

The disks are normally formatted with 520 Byte sectors on storage arrays and this is different to after market disk – so they would not work.

If you want to continue in the out of warranty environment and just eke out the 840 then there should be a reasonable source of NetApp used drives available from EBAY and some refurbishers.

You could also probably get support on the F840 from NetApp, while you may consider that expensive, consider what the value is of the service neeeded – and sometimes you need to park it while you fix other stuff.

You can investigate moving the disks on to the FAS3020 and just getting support for the shelves.

The F840 probably does not have much data – the disks are 72GB and you can get 450GB FC or 1000GB SATA so why not buy new disk for the FAS3020 and migrate the data?

Or rebuild the volumes on the F840 leaving lots of spares and then just let it erode untill you run out of spares. you can follow this process and slowly reduce the work you do on the F840 and all it will cost you is electricity and cooling

I hope you are aware of the software richness of the NetApp – as replacing it simply on cost grounds may reduce your operational capability.

Most resellers will chat through your options for free if you call politely.

good luck.

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  • NetappGuy
    Actualy you need to format the drives, 520 bytes/sector is correct.  This issue is you have to format the drives from a Linux system and update the firmware then NetApp will recognize them.  The problem is NetApp will not format only initialize so it will mark non-formated drives as bad or in some cases FC drives are marked as ATA it just does not see them correctly.
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