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Tiering data from on-premises ONTAP clusters to StorageGRID

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Free space on your on-prem ONTAP clusters by tiering data to StorageGRID. Data tiering is powered by NetApp’s Cloud Tiering service.

Quick start

Get started quickly by following these steps or scroll down to the remaining sections for full details.

number 1 Prepare to tier data to StorageGRID

You need the following:

  • An AFF or FAS system with all-SSD aggregates that’s running ONTAP 9.4 or later, and a connection over a user-specified port to StorageGRID.

  • StorageGRID 10.3 or later with AWS access keys that have S3 permissions.

  • A Connector installed on your premises.

  • Networking for the Connector that enables an outbound HTTPS connection to the ONTAP cluster, to StorageGRID, and to the Cloud Tiering service.

number 2 Set up tiering

Select an on-prem working environment, click Setup Tiering and follow the prompts to tier data to StorageGRID.


Verify support for your ONTAP cluster, set up your networking, and prepare your object storage.

The following image shows each component and the connections that you need to prepare between them:

An architecture image that shows the Cloud Tiering service with a connection to the Service Connector on your premises, the Service Connector with a connection to your ONTAP cluster, and a connection between the ONTAP cluster and object storage. Active data resides on the ONTAP cluster, while inactive data resides in object storage.

Note Communication between the Connector and StorageGRID is for object storage setup only.

Preparing your ONTAP clusters

Your ONTAP clusters must meet the following requirements when tiering data to StorageGRID.

Supported ONTAP platforms

Cloud Tiering supports AFF systems and all-SSD aggregates on FAS systems.

Supported ONTAP version

ONTAP 9.4 or later


A FabricPool license isn’t required on the ONTAP cluster when tiering data to StorageGRID.

Cluster networking requirements
  • The ONTAP cluster initiates an HTTPS connection over a user-specified port to StorageGRID (the port is configurable during tiering setup).

    ONTAP reads and writes data to and from object storage. The object storage never initiates, it just responds.

  • An inbound connection is required from the Connector, which must reside on your premises.

    A connection between the cluster and the Cloud Tiering service is not required.

  • An intercluster LIF is required on each ONTAP node that hosts tiered volumes. The LIF must be associated with the IPspace that ONTAP should use to connect to object storage.

    IPspaces enable network traffic segregation, allowing for separation of client traffic for privacy and security. Learn more about IPspaces.

    When you set up data tiering, Cloud Tiering prompts you for the IPspace to use. You should choose the IPspace that each LIF is associated with. That might be the "Default" IPspace or a custom IPspace that you created.

Supported volumes and aggregates

The total number of volumes that Cloud Tiering can tier might be less than the number of volumes on your ONTAP system. That’s because volumes can’t be tiered from some aggregates. For example, you can’t tier data from SnapLock volumes or from MetroCluster configurations. Refer to ONTAP documentation for functionality or features not supported by FabricPool.

Note Cloud Tiering supports FlexGroup volumes, starting with ONTAP 9.5. Setup works the same as any other volume.

Preparing StorageGRID

StorageGRID must meet the following requirements.

Supported StorageGRID versions

StorageGRID 10.3 and later are supported.

S3 credentials

When you set up tiering to StorageGRID, you need to provide Cloud Tiering with an S3 access key and secret key. Cloud Tiering uses the keys to access your buckets.

These access keys must be associated with a user who has the following permissions:

Object versioning

You must not enable StorageGRID object versioning on the object store bucket.

Creating or switching Connectors

A Connector is required to tier data to the cloud. When tiering data to StorageGRID, a Connector must be available on your premises. You’ll either need to install a new Connector or make sure that the currently selected Connector resides on-prem.

Preparing networking for the Connector

Ensure that the Connector has the required networking connections.

  1. Ensure that the network where the Connector is installed enables the following connections:

    • An outbound internet connection to the Cloud Tiering service over port 443 (HTTPS)

    • An HTTPS connection over port 443 to StorageGRID

    • An HTTPS connection over port 443 to your ONTAP clusters

Tiering inactive data from your first cluster to StorageGRID

After you prepare your environment, start tiering inactive data from your first cluster.

What you’ll need
  1. Select an on-prem cluster.

  2. Click Setup Tiering.

    A screenshot that shows the Setup Tiering option that appears on the right side of the screen after you select an on-prem ONTAP working environment.

    You’re now on the Tiering dashboard.

  3. Click Set up Tiering next to the cluster.

  4. Complete the steps on the Tiering Setup page:

    1. Choose your provider: Select StorageGRID.

    2. Server: Enter the FQDN of the StorageGRID server, enter the port that ONTAP should use for HTTPS communication with StorageGRID, and enter the access key and secret key for an AWS account that has the required S3 permissions.

    3. Bucket: Add a new bucket or select an existing bucket for the tiered data.

    4. Cluster Network: Select the IPspace that ONTAP should use to connect to object storage and click Continue.

      Selecting the correct IPspace ensures that Cloud Tiering can set up a connection from ONTAP to your cloud provider’s object storage.

  5. Click Continue to select the volumes that you want to tier.

  6. On the Tier Volumes page, set up tiering for each volume. Click the A screenshot of the edit icon that appears at the end of each row in the table for tiering volumes icon, select a tiering policy, optionally adjust the cooling days, and click Apply.

    A screenshot that shows volumes selected in the Select Source Volumes page.


You’ve successfully set up data tiering from volumes on the cluster to StorageGRID.

What’s next?

You can add additional clusters or review information about the active and inactive data on the cluster. For details, see Managing data tiering from your clusters.