NetApp upgrade to ONTAP 9.x

This guide for NetApp upgrade to ONTAP 9.x is valid for filers running versions 9.4, 9.5 and 9.6

NetApp has released a Bug regarding its OS that affects the version that were installing here, 9.3. The bug can be read here: It is not the first time that I see companies having problem with Certification Expiration, what a blunder! I remember back on the day when PowerChute APC used to have the same problem, an expired certificate in its Java background support system caused the software to stop and shutdown your server! These was years ago, anyway, but I'm worry manufactures still keep on falling into the Certification Expiration trap

Let's begin, this is a summary of what we'd be doing

  1. Download the ONTAP version from NetApp
  2. Prepare the file for update
  3. Do the upgrade on the NetApp GUI
  4. NetApp Tips: Reduce NetApp SSH time out
  5. NetApp Tips: Check file permission on NetApp
  6. Other handy commands

In this guide I will describe the process we use to upgrade our NetApp from the current version that it has of 9.2 to the more recent release of 9.3. Go and read this article first, to decide which upgrade path you prefer to use on your environment:

For my example in this guide the best option is to upgrade using the "Automated non-disruptive" method, something really easy and not too complicated

 NetApp upgrade to ONTAP 9.x

1.- Download the ONTAP version from NetApp

You obviously need to have an account with NetApp and a support contract, to be able to download the new version of the software on your filer. So, with those details on mind, copy-paste this link on your browser ( and download the ONTAP operating system of your filer model, on my example it is a "FAS 2552"

As you can see version 9.4 is already available, but personally (and unless there is a major security risk, etc), I always prefer to be on a version behind, after it has been fully tested and is mature, so go ahead and "View & Download" version 9.3

Follow the wizard carefully (specially if you have encrypted volumes!), agree to the license, and download the OS to this location that you'll need to create in your local management computer: C:\Temp\NetApp_OS

After the download completes, visit the site to download the Node.js application. We’ll use this application to upload the OnTap OS to the NetApp filer. Once the program is installed, launch the “Node.js command prompt”

At the command prompt type npm install http-server -g to install the HTTP server service

Next, type the http-server application plus the location of the folder where you downloaded the NetApp OS, in our example is the C:\Temp\NetApp_OS

Now logon to your NetApp filer and visit (assuming that you have version 9.2 already installed) Configurations > Cluster Update, and first of all delete the old version that you might have in there (on my example I'm deleting version 9.1), this is so that you have space to upload the new image

Once the image has been deleted, click on "Add" and the type the URL of your machine (that thanks to Node.js has temporarily8080 become a web server on port 8080) including the name of the new 9.3 image, and don't forget to add the extension (*.tgz) of the file at the end

Wait until the image has been successfully uploaded

2.- Prepare the file for update

Hold your horses now, because before the upgrade of the cluster we have to do some “manual checks” as advised in the upgrade PDF, and to ensure that we comply with the per-upgrade requirements. Therefore establish a ssh connection to your filer and do as follows:

  • Check that the CPU on the nodes are not too high:
node run -node Netapp1-01 -command sysstat -c 10 -x 3

node run -node Netapp1-02 -command sysstat -c 10 -x 3
  • Disable the AutoSupport service for a period of 3 hours, that will cover you over the upgrade of the OS
system node autosupport invoke -node * -type all -message MAINT=3h
  • Ensure that the LIFs are on their home node, if they are not visit Network > Network Interfaces > highlight the affected interface names and click on "Send to Home". To verify whether the ports are on their homes or not, run this command:
 network interface show -is-home false
  • Ensure the users have shutdown their machines so they don't have files open on the network, run this command to verify:
vserver cifs session show -continuously-available No, Partial


3.- Do the upgrade on the NetApp GUI

Go back to the Netapp and choose to upgrade to the new version now

Click on "Validate" to ensure the new OS has been uploaded and fill all the requirements correctly

You might have some warnings, but chose to continue

For the next window, chose to "Update the entire cluster"

Be brave, and choose "OK" to accept the fail-over that will occur during the upgrade:

This is now when the update will start


And yes, jolly good it all updated successfully :)


And finally, you can check the "Cluster Update" tab, and see the history of your updates, check out my case and how we upgraded on the same day from version 9.2 to version 9.6, a straight-through update is not allowed, therefore we had to update to 9.3, then 9.4, then 9.5 and finally the glorious 9.6


NetApp Tips: Reduce NetApp SSH time out

By default you will be logout every 30 minutes, to extend the timeout period to a week, do as follows:

system timeout show

system timeout modify -timeout 10080


NetApp Tips: Check file permission on NetApp

If you of any of your users received a random "access denied" while access files on your NetApp, troubleshoot the problem as follows:

Disable packet signing as specified on this article, though in my case that didn't help much:

The below is a brief guide of how to capture packets on your Netapp, extracted from this article:

#Start TCPDump collection
network tcpdump start -node Netapp1-01 -port a0a-28

#Stop the collection
tcpdump stop -node Netapp1-01 -port a0a-28

#Show the collection
network tcpdump trace show
network tcpdump trace delete -node Netapp1-01 xxxxxxxxx.trc0

 To extract file from your Network, first of all download FileZilla Server on a computer where the netapp can ping to, here is an example of the extraction of a file:

system script upload -filename /mroot/etc/log/packet_traces/a0a-28_20190906_131009.trc1 -destination


Other handy commands

This will show you whether oplocks is enabled or not

vserver cifs share properties show

Disable oplocks on the "Public" share

vserver cifs share properties remove -share-name Public -share-properties oplocks

If you have enjoyed reading this guide about NetApp upgrade to ONTAP 9.x you might like this other article of mine too:


London, 10 August 2019




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