We will help you understand the transition fundamentals framework, which is a logical flow of transition tasks and activities that can be used within your existing transition processes or workflows.

Storage Administrator

As a storage administrator, you are always demanding more features from your storage platform, and using the ONTAP® 9 operating system will greatly expand on the features for which you are looking.

NetApp Customer

If you're an existing NetApp customer with 7-Mode storage systems, you'll need to transition your existing environment to ONTAP 9 in order to take advantage of the new flexible and scalable storage capabilities it offers.

The transition fundamentals can be best understood as a high-level conceptual framework to represent your journey from 7-Mode to ONTAP 9. The identify phase focuses primarily on business decisions to identify the scope and solution strategy for transitions. The design phase focuses primarily on planning and technical design associated with transitions. The implement phase is all about deployment of the destination cluster, migration of data, and updates to the operating environment.


This conceptual framework is executed through a set of key activities that each include a specific set of steps and tasks to be completed for that activity. These activities—assess, prepare, migrate, and operate—form the core workflow you need to execute in order to successfully transition your existing production environment to ONTAP 9. Refer to the Guide Me page for more guidance and help on the activities workflow. Below we describe the high-level conceptual framework in more detail.


Identify: Scope and Solution Strategy

The identification phase focuses on business decisions. In the identification phase, you identify storage containers to transition and the order in which to transition them. For this, you must know which applications and workloads are deployed in your 7-Mode environment. You then consider how to group systems, applications, and workloads. Groups can be moved together, and you prioritize the movement of groups based on business requirements.

Scope Definition

  • Create logical groups that can move together.  Decide on the transition order of the groups and assign a priority number.
  • Groups can be based on storage controller, application, or workloads. 
  • Take into consideration cutover requirements, location of storage controllers and warranties, and tech-refresh schedules.
  • Consider feature and function differences that need to be addressed before transition begins.
  • Address any data protection concerns that may affect replication.
  • Identify FC zones and decide how the SAN fabric will evolve as part of the transition.

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Environment Discovery

  • List applications and workloads and identify the storage systems on which they depend.
  • Use Unified Parser Tool to view 7-Mode systems that are deployed.
  • Use 7-Mode Transition Tool (7MTT) collect and assess functionality.
  • Determine business and cutover requirements for each application or workload.
  • Identify groups that are the users of these applications and workloads.

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Design: Planning & Technical Design

The design phase focuses on the planning activities that are related to the transition. During the design phase, you create an architecture plan for the destination ONTAP 9 system. The architecture is based on the capabilities that the cluster will need in order to support the migrated workloads and the potential future needs of the storage system. You also analyze the 7-Mode environment and plan for migration.


Transition Planning

  • Using the information gathered in the previous section, "Identify", and document all the storage containers that will be moved from the source systems.  Map these to their destinations on the ONTAP system.
  • List networking, data protocols, and features in use on the existing storage system and determine if they will be used with the ONTAP system.
  • NetApp recommends the use of the 7MTT collect and assess feature for all discovery and transition-planning activities.  Available for both Linux and Windows.
  • NetApp also has standalone tools that can be used to collect information about an environment: Inventory Collect Tool (ICT) and nSANity Diagnostic and Configuration Data Collector.  7MTT or Unified Parser can be used to analyze the data files created by these 2 collectors.
  • Create a training plan for providing ONTAP 9 training to 7-Mode administrators or application administrators.

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Cluster Design

  • Design an ONTAP 9 system that supports current 7-Mode workloads and expected future business requirements.
  • Use the information from transition planning to determine configuration points on the ONTAP 9 cluster.
  • Consider 7-Mode characteristics, utilization, and workload metrics.
  • Introduce new hardware if cluster expansion is required or if staging space is needed for qtree breakout.
  • Add any protocols, services, or features that are required for new applications or workloads.
  • If you use 7MTT copy-free transition (CFT), you need an unused HA pair.
  • Refer to Technical Report TR-4052 : Successfully Transitioning to ONTAP for detailed information on these activities.

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Implement: Deploy, Migrate, and Verify

The implementation phase focuses on the deployment and configuration of the destination ONTAP 9 cluster and the migration of workloads and data. Implementation activities also involve updates to the operating environment. Along with pilot testing of applications, processes, and people, this will help make sure that the NetApp® ONTAP 9 environment and all technologies that depend on it work as expected, leading to a successful rollout of the new solution.

Deployment or Configuration of an existing cluster

  • Hardware procurement, qualification, staging, and installation.
  • Primary configuration of ONTAP 9 protocols, services, and features.
  • Creation and configuration of storage virtual machines (SVMs).
  • Expand cluster by adding new hardware if required.
  • Add any protocols, services, or features for new applications or workloads.
  • If you use 7MTT copy-free transition (CFT), you will need an unused HA pair.

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Data Migration

  • Move or copy data from one storage system to another.
  • Disruptive or nondisruptive data migration.
  • Transition planning activities include a migration method as well as considerations for cutover and timing.
  • Implementation goal is to migrate data and perform cutover based on your plan. This includes verifying data access and configuration after the migration is complete.

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Environment Updates

  • Use the data gathered in the environmental discovery phase that has been reviewed with the NetApp Interoperability Matrix Tool (IMT)
  • Verify that the version of software being run is correct for the version of ONTAP that's being run on the storage system being transitioned to:
    • Hosts and applications
    • Monitoring software and services
    • Scripting, automation, and orchestration services
    • Backup services
    • Any additional software or services that were previously discovered
  • Verify that monitoring, scripting, and automation services are running correctly and providing needed data

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