When upgrading a NetApp filer from a pre-7.3 release to 7.3, metadata is apparently moved from within the FlexVol into the containing aggregate. If your aggregate is tight on space – more than 96% full – NetApp requires that you complete extra verification steps to ensure that you can complete the upgrade. From the Data ONTAP® 188.8.131.52 Release Notes (NOW login required):
If you suspect that your system has almost used all of its free space, or if you use thin provisioning, you should check the amount of space in use by each aggregate. If any aggregate is 97 percent full or more, do not proceed with the upgrade until you have used the Upgrade Advisor or aggrSpaceCheck tools to determine your system capacity and plan your upgrade.
Upgrade Advisor is a great tool, and I heartily recommend you use it for your upgrade. However, it doesn’t give you a lot of visibility into what’s being checked for here. Lucky for us, NetApp offers an alternative tool: aggrSpaceCheck (NOW login required).