7 Mode? In this economy?

I had two discussions about Data ONTAP 7-mode last week, which was a bit of a surprise, since it’s been something NetApp has been working to help customers get away from for.. some time now. 8 years really pushing it, 10 years since NetApp started providing Clustered ONTAP as an option.

You can totally understand it – data has GRAVITY. It’s heavy and hard to move. Those moves and cutovers need to be as seamless, or quick (or ideally both) as possible. And 7DOT was a platform people had a lot of experience with and understood, and change is difficult.

I’ve been in videos and given countless presentations how to do 7toC migrations quickly and easily, and done a LOT of them, either personally, or working with customers, but the end result is that some people haven’t done it, and it’s now 2023, and the remaining 7DOT users find themselves in a tough spot.

Last November, Microsoft made some AD changes, which means that to continue using 8.2.5P5 with Active Directory, you need to re-enable RC4 encryption. RC4 is.. not terribly secure, so I wouldn’t do that.

At the beginning of Feb 2023, NetApp stopped supporting the FAS255x and FAS80x0 controllers, which are the last generation to run 8.2.5, the last release of 7DOT, which itself is now in “self support”. Self support means NetApp won’t delete the webpages which help with troubleshooting. But once they’re gone in Jan 2026 (less than three years away.. and it can’t come soon enough), you’ll be stuck with some random university in Wollongong hosting an old copy..

ONTAP does everything 7DOT did except allow direct FC connections (because it requires NPIV for FC LIF hosting) and providing an FTP server. The first is an easy fix (buy an FC switch.. if you’re still running 7DOT, you’re probably not adverse to eBay purchases of infrastructure) and the second is a matter of setting up a small Linux VM somewhere if it’s a really big concern.

The best time to migrate off 7DOT was 2016. The second best time is now.


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