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NetApp Knowledge Base

Is it necessary to schedule a maintenance window to upgrade E-Series controller firmware?

Last Updated:

Applies to

All E-Series Firmware


  • It is often asked whether downtime is required to upgrade E-Series controller firmware.
  • NetApp E-Series storage systems are designed to be upgraded online.
  • While it is recommended to perform the upgrade process during periods of low to no I/O, as long as the host side is properly setup to failover the paths, there should be no issue with performing the upgrade while servicing I/O.
  • As part of the upgrade process, one controller will be placed in an unavailable state and each of the volumes that the controller owns will be moved to the alternate controller while the upgrade is underway.
  • After the new image is applied, that controller will reboot.
  • When complete, it will take ownership of ALL volumes while the alternate controller completes the same process.
  • Once finalized, the volumes will be redistributed back to their original preferred owner and the controllers will be upgraded.

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