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NetApp Knowledge Base

Is it possible to replace small drives with bigger ones without downsizing them?

Last Updated:

Applies to

  • Disk downsizing
  • RAID groups



  • NetApp Write Anyware File Layout (WAFL) uses Virtual Block numbers (VBNs) when creating RAID groups and aggregates.
  • The VBNs used by each disk are "fixed" in the RAID group so, if a disk is replaced with a bigger one, the amount of VBNs will remain.
  • The empty space in the bigger drive won't be used by WAFL for new VBNs. No data will be stored in the "available" space.
  • The aggregate with mixed drives should be destroyed and recreated again with the correct ones. 
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