NetApp R200 volume setup procedure

One month ago I had opportunity to play with old filer R200 from NetApp company. NetApp Inc., formerly Network Appliance Inc., is a well known American computer storage and data management company headquartered in Sunnyvale, California. NetApp competes in the data-storage devices industry. In 2009, NetApp ranked second in market capitalization in its industry behind EMC Corporation and ahead of Seagate Technology, Western Digital, Brocade, Imation, and Quantum. In spite of this model was discontinued and it doesn’t have support now by the company I have decided to resurrect it for technical purposes and files exchange inside our internal network.

I plan to create a couple of articles about this theme here. Look into archive of my Blog. You will find additional posts here soon. If you find it interesting - let me know about in comments below. In spite of NetApp documentation exist in the Internet this article reflect my own experience. Let’s briefly describe what the system I have.

By the way, I don’t take any responsibilities for any hardware damages or information loss you may get by information posted on this Blog. Don’t try do it on live system. Current information for educational purposes only. Do it for your own personal risk.

This unit have one head with motherboard and two shelves with small 320Gb IDE hard drives inside. The shelves itself are SATA, but have the special interfaces to convert IDE interface into SATA. One shelf has no enough hard drives inside cause they were lost or broken. One of the power supply has problem with fan also. So, I have decided to recreate one shelf and use another one as source of spare parts.

The NetApp filer is possible to control via serial port, BMC (Baseboard Management Controller) or by Ethernet connector. I have not the BMC on this unit. The Ethernet is not working cause not possible to boot. So, I have decided to use the oldie serial port (RS-232 standard) for setup. I won’t describe the procedure how to do it. Every technical specialist knows this well. I used the Linux Box to control the NetApp via serial port.

First of all I DON’T RECOMMEND to use NetApp boot menu with option “Clean configuration and initialize all disks”. You will clean configuration, initialize all disks and may lose some necessary files from Filer Firmware, like Java and other stuff. If you have not own NetApp Firmware for your filer it will be difficult recreate. Without Java you’ll lose Filer control by WEB interface and will get annoying warnings from the system which will report you about some missing files. Also you’ll lose all your licenses for network services. Shortly to say, use this option carefully and before do this, if you can boot the filer, copy the information about your licenses by license command in the terminal.

After the disk initialization and system setup by command setup in the terminal you will get volume consist of two hard drives (parity and data) which calls vol0 and bunch of spare disk you can manage.

To get information about configuration use such command:

netapp> vol status -r

Cause I have only one shelf and disks of small volume I thought I’d make the aggregate without spare disks. The aggregate will hold one raid_dp volume with 12 disks (minus 2 for parity and dparity). This volume we will create as “flexible volumeFlexVol (analog of Linux LVM).

But before we’ll create the aggregate let’s zero spare disks. It is not necessary do cause aggregate procedure do it automatically, but I like do it myself, cause it takes a lot of time. On my system it takes half day, but it depends on how many hard drives you’re going to erase:

netapp> disk zero spares
netapp> vol status -s

Next we’ll create the aggregate:

netapp> aggr create main -r 12 -t raid_dp 12
netapp> sysconfig -r
This aggregate will consist of 12 disks and has the name main.

After process is complete we’re ready to create FlexVol on current main aggregate:

netapp> vol create vol_main -s volume main 2000g
It will create the flexible volume with name vol_main and size 2000Gb.

Next, if you wanna change the volume size do:

netapp> vol size vol_main +200m
netapp> vol size vol_main
It will increase the volume size on 200Gb. Last command shows result.

The last action with volume will be removing the snapshots from created volume to free up the space. I want to get the maximum available space:

netapp> snap sched -V vol_main 0 0 0
netapp> vol options vol_main nosnap on
netapp> vol options vol_main nosnapdir on
netapp> snap reserve -V vol_main 0
netapp> vol status -r

See the result:

netapp> aggr status
    Aggr State      Status          Options
    vol0 online     raid4, trad     root, nosnap=on
    main online     raid_dp, aggr   raidsize=12
netapp> vol status
  Volume State      Status          Options
    vol0 online     raid4, trad     root, nosnap=on
vol_main online     raid_dp, flex   nosnap=on, nosnapdir=on,
This part of article is finished now. Any comments below are welcome.

Thanks for your time…

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