Making the Transition to Clustered Data ONTAP
Many of you have already made the move from Data ONTAP® 7-Mode to clustered Data ONTAP®. For those who still have some or all of your NetApp systems running in 7-Mode, with the release of clustered Data ONTAP 8.3, there has never been a better time to transition. Moving to clustered Data ONTAP will allow you to take full advantage of its advanced capabilities, including nondisruptive operations, and scale-out.
Figure 1) The journey from 7-Mode to NetApp clustered Data ONTAP. (Figure 2 shows an expanded view of Transition Fundamentals.)
If you read the May 2014 Tech OnTap article on transitioning from 7-Mode to clustered Data ONTAP, you’ll find in this article that we’ve made significant improvements to our transition approach, support materials, and tools to make transitioning even clearer and easier. Our updated approach focuses on the “how to”—the tasks and activities needed to complete a successful transition.
In this article, we describe the fundamentals of transitioning. We also provide links to the most relevant resources, including technical reports, tools, service offerings, and training. Our recently launched Transition Fundamentals portal makes it easy to find everything you need.
Transition Fundamentals Framework
Our earlier approach to transition lacked specific information on how to plan and execute a transition, and it had too much emphasis on the exact process to follow. Based on feedback and tooling improvements, the new approach is a framework that organizes the information needed for transition in a logical fashion (more akin to a table of contents for transition tasks and activities).
The transition fundamentals framework provides a structured set of activities and tasks that can be plugged into any existing process. This framework is fully documented in TR-4052: Successfully Transitioning to Clustered Data ONTAP. Much of the framework is designed to address tasks related to specific use scenarios, particularly in the areas of disaster recovery, backup, and Qtrees. TR-4052 also defines all terminology, so there’s no confusion about what each term means. Another valuable technical report, TR-4336: Enterprise Application Transition to Clustered Data ONTAP, describes how various popular applications and hypervisors can be used to accomplish application data migration.
The previous transition approach assumed that you would be creating a new clustered Data ONTAP environment. Since many clustered Data ONTAP environments now exist, this framework also accommodates transition of 7-Mode systems into a pre-existing cluster.
The transition fundamentals framework is not a process. Rather, it is a logical organization of topics that covers all activities that need to occur and how to accomplish them. You likely already have your own workflows and processes to execute projects. These fundamentals are designed to plug into your existing process or workflow.
There is a logical flow to the activities involved with transitioning. The transition fundamentals framework presents information on three primary activities: Identify, Design, and Implement. Although it is natural to apply the three activities in this order, it is not required. Additionally, it is expected that when applying tasks to a workflow or process, iteration will be involved. For example, if multiple workloads are being migrated, many of the tasks will be iterated through multiple migrations.
Figure 2) High-level view of the transition fundamentals framework.
Depending on your objectives, direction from management, environment complexity, and other factors you may decide that some of the activities or tasks detailed in the transition fundamentals framework are not required for your transition. Since the framework is not a process, deciding to apply a subset of the tasks to your transition is perfectly acceptable.
The following subsections describe the elements of the framework in more detail. A simple example based on a fictitious company, ACME, Inc., helps illustrate some of the points.
The Identify part of the framework is subdivided into two tasks: Environment Discovery and Define Scope.
Environment Discovery. During discovery you identify all existing storage systems, workloads, applications, constituent groups, and business requirements for your existing 7-Mode environment.
Define Scope. In this task you subdivide your 7-Mode environment into logical groupings and determine a priority order for transitioning each group.
The Design part of the framework is also subdivided into two tasks: Transition Planning and Cluster Design.
Transition Planning. In this task you plan the detailed processes for moving a target group from 7-Mode to clustered Data ONTAP. This includes data migration, operating environment updates, and training.
Cluster Design. This activity is used to plan the target clustered Data ONTAP system architecture. This includes establishing forward-looking requirements so that you don’t find yourself painted into a corner down the road.
The Implement part of the framework is where you actually perform the transition you planned during the Design phase. It is subdivided into three tasks: Deploy and Configure, Data Migration, and Environment Updates.
Deploy and Configure. In this activity you either deploy and prepare a new cluster environment or make the necessary configuration changes to a pre-existing cluster.
Data Migration. In this activity you move data to the clustered Data ONTAP destination environment and transition your workloads.
Environment Updates. In this activity, you complete all necessary updates to your operating environment and finish necessary staff training.
NetApp has a number of tools designed to help you with your transition.
Transition Advisor. For those of you who are NetApp AutoSupport™ users, My AutoSupport (login required) now includes a Transition Advisor tool. This is a simple tool that lets you assess a single storage system or every system you own at once.
7MTT. The 7-Mode Transition Tool, or 7MTT, is designed to do a lot of the heavy lifting for you. It consists of both a “collect and assess” feature and full data migration capability. The collect and assess feature accesses your clients (hosts) and 7-Mode storage systems to discover key configuration information and identify important considerations for the transition to clustered Data ONTAP.
7MTT also automates much of the data migration process. Key benefits of the latest version (version 2.0) of 7MTT for data migration are:
Additional Tools. A more detailed description of all tools available from NetApp is included in Section 3 of TR-4052. The new fundamentals framework is less centered on the tools you use to move data. You are free to use the tool or tools that you are most comfortable with.
Application Data Migration. In many cases, your applications may be the best choice for moving application-specific data with minimal or no disruption. This is covered in detail for popular enterprise applications including Oracle, Exchange, SQL Server, and more in TR-4336: Enterprise Application Transition to Clustered Data ONTAP.
This section contains the most important resources for transitioning to clustered Data ONTAP. Don’t forget to check out our clustered Data ONTAP transition portal.
A number of relevant clustered Data ONTAP classes are available through NetApp University:
Professional and Support Services
NetApp offers a full range of services to support the transition process. You can find details on available services on the transition portal.
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