As title stands, this will be a very
quick article about a customer who has NetApp FAS systems.

This customer in 2014 bought their
first two FAS3220 systems with NSE encryption and at that time with 7-Mode

Then in 2015 they bought one AFF8040
and one FAS8040 (HDD, and made it “Hybrid” with adding few SSDs
tooled from AFF8040 system) both also with NSE encryption and ONTAP cDOT formed
in a single cluster.

Then they migrated all their VMware
infrastructure to new storage systems, upgraded old systems with ONTAP cDOT
& joined old but upgraded systems to the cluster with FAS8040 & AFF8040
and moved back some of slow workloads back on 3240 non-disruptively but now
with NetApp’s LUN move & Volume move, way faster than it would be done with
VMware Storage vMotion.

And then in 2017 they bought AFF
A700 without encryption. All systems happily working, monitored and managed
under a single cluster and data during its life cycle non-disruptively migrated
across all the nodes, while they got at least 2:1 data reduction on AFF systems (Cross-Volume Deduplication is not enabled yet)
and 1.5:1 on hybrid & HDD-only systems.

Now in 2018 after 4 years since they
got first FAS system they thinking to throw old FAS3220 controllers away, buy
new low-end FAS2700 controllers (which probably will be same or faster then
3220) and connect old disk shelves to them with simply using MiniSAS HD to QSFP
cable adapter. Then as always, connect all FAS & AFF systems to a single
cluster again and be able to upgrade to 9.3 and farther, and be able to utilize
new ONTAP functionality like FabricPool or Inline Aggregate Deduplication.

And now with A700 with simple ONTAP
upgrade they will be able to use FC-NVMe with existing cluster when they are

I have three rhetorical questions to
take away:

  1. Which storage system vendor would allow you to keep in
    a single cluster: nodes from different models (3240, 8040, A700 and 2700);
    have Low-End, Mid-Range & High-End systems in a cluster; Have
    different types of systems (All Flash, HDD & Hybrid); have different
    generations (4 generations: from 3240 to 2700); some of the systems with
    encryption some without?
  2. Which storage system vendor would allow you to: upgrade
    same hardware with huge major software brake-trough release (Which was
    move from 7-Mode to cDOT); allow you to reconnect your old disk shelves
    between Low-End, Mid-range & High-End systems; allow you to reconnect
    old disk shelves to different generations & models?
  3. Can you name one?

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