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I have a client that I am configuring a NetApp system for, but they played around with the system before I got there and have already assigned all of the disks to the aggr0 which is a 32-bit traditional volume.

In light of future upgrade/space concerns/maximization I want to migrate to a 64-bit aggr0 (with vol0 on it) but all of the disks have been assigned (with one free in the pool).

I am not on site so I don't want to do a maintenance restore if at all possible, so my question is since the aggr0 is RAID-DP can I use 'disk fail' to remove two drives and put the aggr0 into a double degraded state, then use the 3 free drives to make my new aggr00/vol00, ndmp copy, change the boot vol and carry on with a normal migration.

If anyone has experience failing disks intentionally to remove them from an aggr so they can be reallocated, please let me know.

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Yes, you approach is absolutely viable and should do the trick, but the system won't let you do this unless you set raid.min_spare_count to 0. After that it should work and the normal transfer root volume procedure should be applied. You can test it in a ONTAP 8 simulator just to make sure everything goes as expected.

And tell your costumer that traditional volumes and aggregates on top of that are not what you want.

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netapp01*> options raid.min_spare_count 0 option raid.min_spare_count: Cannot be set to 0 if there are more than 16 drives or any RAID4 groups configured. –  BillMorton Jan 12 '12 at 21:12
    
It looks like it really does not want to let me remove the disks: 'netapp01*> Thu Jan 12 21:21:09 GMT [netapp01: diskown.ownerChangeFailed:error]: Disk ownership change request failed on disk 0d.01.5 (S/N x). Status: 3. ' –  BillMorton Jan 12 '12 at 21:22
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