Upgrading your NetApp storage equipment can seem daunting if you’re unsure about the process. When upgrading your data center you’ll have to answer questions like: do you even need to upgrade? Which type of upgrade would be best for your specific situation? There are many factors that go into upgrading your NetApp filer. In this blog we aim to help you understand what upgrading actually means as well as which options are available to you.

System Upgrades vs. Capacity Upgrades

The term “upgrade” itself can be tricky to understand - even though, on the surface level, it seems to be common sense. “Upgrade” can have two different meanings - system upgrades and capacity upgrades. Do you want to upgrade to a new system or do you want to upgrade your capacity? For example, you have a FAS3240, which is a couple generations back, a system upgrade would be moving to the FAS8000 series, or the newest system available. The second upgrade option would be a capacity upgrade.

Say you have a FAS3240 and you have 20TB of data on it but want to run a new application on it. If you decide you need more space you may consider adding another 20TB, which could be as easy as adding another disk shelf. This is usually the cheaper and easier option because you can find disk shelves anywhere on the used market. So, when using the term “upgrade,” it is important to understand exactly which type of upgrade you need.

Upgrading Your End of Availability (EOA) and End of Service (EOS) Equipment

If you’re preparing to upgrade your NetApp filer, but aren’t sure which upgrade would work best for your organization, it is important to know when your NetApp equipment is going EOA and EOS. Having this information will make it easier for you to clearly define which type of upgrade aligns best with your organization’s needs. For instance, the FAS3240 is currently EOA, and will be EOS in 2018. The OEM, in this case NetApp, will tell you that you should do an entire system upgrade to the latest equipment available. If you’re budget conscious this may not seem like the best route for you to go.

Another, more affordable option you have is to get capacity upgrades. With the FAS3240 you may be wondering what implications a capacity upgrade would have on storage equipment that is already EOA. At that point, you may want to consider an independent reseller to get the most value out of your EOA equipment.

One of the perks of going with a third-party vendor like Reliant is that manufacturer EOA and EOS dates don’t affect our ability to support or upgrade your equipment your equipment. For the most part, a capacity upgrade would be the more flexible option because you can continue to use and have your equipment supported well beyond the EOS date which could save you hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Potential Issues with Upgrading your NetApp Filer

It is important to keep in mind any potential issues with upgrading your NetApp equipment. Should you determine that you want to do a system upgrade in your data center, but decide that you only want to upgrade one of those systems. You should avoid any software pitfalls that may come into play while doing a system upgrade. For example, if you have three arrays in your data center but only want to upgrade one to the newest system, there would be an issue if they are all running SnapMirror. The issue would be that you can’t upgrade one system to the newest OS without doing the other two arrays in order to use SnapMirror properly because the new system will not work with the current OS version. You would potentially have to purchase all new units which would become very expensive very quickly. If you find that upgrading all of your NetApp systems is too costly, you also have the option of upgrading your existing equipment through Reliant Technology.

Now What?

If you decide that a capacity upgrade would work best for your organization, Reliant Technology can help you with all of your data center needs. All of Reliant’s equipment goes through a rigorous 8-step testing and certification process known as the “Reliant Rock-Solid Certification” and also comes with a one-year, next-business-day warranty. Are you ready to upgrade your NetApp filer? If this answer is yes or you just want to learn more about NetApp filers and upgrades, contact one of our NetApp storage specialists at 1.877.227.0828.