Compatible spare disks in System Manager - ONTAP 9.7 and earlier
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In ONTAP System Manager classic (available in ONTAP 9.7 and earlier), compatible spare disks are disks that match the properties of other disks in the aggregate. When you want to increase the size of an existing aggregate by adding HDDs (capacity disks) or change the RAID type of an aggregate from RAID4 to RAID-DP, the aggregate must contain sufficient compatible spare disks.
Disk properties that must match are the disk type, disk size (can be a higher size disk in case the same disk size is not available), disk RPM, checksum, node owner, pool, and shared disk properties. If you use higher sized disks, you must be aware that disk downsizing occurs and the size of all disks are reduced to the lowest disk size. Existing shared disks are matched with higher size non-shared disks, and the non-shared disks are converted to shared disks and added as spares.
If RAID mixing options, such as disk type mixing and disk RPM mixing, are enabled for the RAID group, the disk type and disk RPM of the existing disks of the aggregate are matched with the effective disk type and effective disk RPM of the spare disks to obtain compatible spares.