Upgrade controllers


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This procedure describes how to nondisruptively upgrade controller hardware on a HA pair using aggregate relocation (ARL) for the following system configurations. The procedure converts the old system to the replacement system, keeping the old system chassis and disks.

Warning This procedure strictly applies to the following upgrade configurations. Do NOT use this procedure to perform an upgrade between any other system combinations.
Old system Replacement system Supported ONTAP versions

AFF A220 configured as an All SAN Array (ASA)

ASA A150

9.13.1P1 and later

AFF A220

AFF A150

9.10.1P15, 9.11.1P11, 9.12.1P5 and later

AFF A200

AFF A150

9.10.1P15, 9.11.1P11 and later

Note AFF A200 does not support ONTAP versions later than 9.11.1.

AFF C190

AFF A150

9.10.1P15, 9.11.1P11, 9.12.1P5 and later



9.11.1P7 (FAS2620)

Note FAS2620 does not support ONTAP versions later than 9.11.1.

9.13.1 and later (FAS2820)



9.13.1 and later

AFF A700 configured as an ASA

ASA A900

9.13.1P1 and later

AFF A700

AFF A900

9.10.1P10, 9.11.1P6 and later



9.10.1P10, 9.11.1P6 and later


NetApp recommends, when possible, that you have the same ONTAP version on the old and the replacement system.

The minimum ONTAP versions in the preceding table are mandatory. These ONTAP versions have the Service Processor or baseboard management controller (BMC) firmware version that is required to support mixing controller types within a chassis during an upgrade.

During the procedure, you migrate the non-root aggregates between the old controller nodes. After installation, you then migrate the non-root aggregates from the old controller nodes to the replacement controller nodes. The data hosted on the nodes that you are upgrading is accessible during the upgrade procedure.

About this task

During this controller upgrade procedure, you perform one of the following upgrades:

  • Swap the controller module on each node on the old controller with the new module. This applies to an AFF A220, AFF A200, AFF C190, FAS2620, or FAS2720 system upgrade.

  • Swap the controller and NVRAM modules on each node on the old controller with the new modules. This applies to an AFF A700 or FAS9000 system upgrade.

Note You do not need to move, disconnect, or reconnect the I/O cards, data cables, disk shelves, and disks.

This procedure uses a method called aggregate relocation (ARL), which takes advantage of the HA configuration to enable you to move ownership of non-root aggregates from one node to another if they share storage within the same cluster.

During the procedure, you upgrade the original controller hardware with the replacement controller hardware, relocating the ownership of non-root aggregates. You migrate aggregates multiple times from node to node to confirm that at least one node is serving data from the aggregates throughout the upgrade procedure. You also migrate data LIFs between nodes in the cluster as you proceed.

Note The terms node1 and node2, are used only as a reference to node names in this document. When following the procedure, you must substitute the real names of your nodes.
Important information
  • This procedure is complex and assumes that you have advanced ONTAP administration skills. You also should read and understand the Guidelines for upgrading controllers and the Overview of the ARL upgrade sections before beginning the upgrade.

  • This procedure assumes that the replacement controller hardware is new and has not been used in another system. The steps required to prepare used controllers with the wipeconfig command are not included in this procedure. You must contact technical support if the replacement controller hardware was previously used as part of another ONTAP cluster or as a standalone single node system.

  • You can use this procedure to upgrade the controller hardware in clusters with more than two nodes; however, you need to perform the procedure separately for each HA pair in the cluster.

  • If you have a switch that is not supported by the ONTAP version and the replacement system that you are upgrading to, refer to References to link to the Hardware Universe.

  • This procedure only applies to AFF A200, AFF A220, AFF C190, FAS2620, FAS2720, AFF A700, and FAS9000 systems. For all other controller models that need upgrading to an AFF A150, FAS2820, AFF A900, or FAS9500 system, refer to References to link to the Use "system controller replace" commands to upgrade controller hardware running ONTAP 9.8 or later and the Using aggregate relocation to manually upgrade controller hardware running ONTAP 9.8 or later content.

  • The ASA A900, AFF A900, and FAS9500 systems only support high-line power (200V to 240V). If your AFF A700 or FAS9000 system is running on low-line power (100V to 120V), you must convert the AFF A700 or FAS9000 input power before using this procedure.

  • If you are upgrading from an AFF A200, AFF A220, AFF C190, FAS2620, FAS2720, AFF A700, or FAS9000 system with downtime, you can upgrade controller hardware by moving storage or contact technical support. Refer to References to link to Upgrade by moving volumes or storage.

Automate the controller upgrade process

This procedure provides the steps for the automated procedure, which uses automatic disk assignment and network port reachability checks to simplify the controller upgrade experience.