Block level storage:
In block level storage, raw volumes of storage are created and each volume is controlled as individual hard drive. These volumes are controlled by server based operating system, can be formatted by required file system.
· This type of storage is deployed in SAN environment which is much reliable and flexible.
· When you use a block-based volume, you're basically using a blank hard drive with which you can do anything.
· Each storage volume can be treated as an independent disk drive and it can be controlled by external server operating system.
· Each storage volume can be formatted with file systems like NFS, NTFS or SMB/CIFS, VMFS (VMware) which are required by the applications.
· Block level storage uses iSCSI and FCoE protocols for data transfer as SCSI commands act as communication interface in between the initiator and the target.
· There are a lot of applications that make use of this block-level shared storage, including:
· Databases, Microsoft Exchange, VMware shared file system, Server boot.
File system level storage:
This can be defined as centralized location for storing files (data). This storage requires file level protocol like NFS (Linux and VMware) and SMB/CIFS (windows).
· It stores files and folders and the visibility is the same to the clients accessing and to the system which stores it.
· The storage disk is configured with protocol as NFS or SMB/CIFS and files are stored and access for it in bulk.
· Network attached storage (NAS) usually depends on file level storage.
· It represent data to end user and applications. This data is typically organized in directories or folders in mostly in some hierarchical fashion.
- Application of such storage can be in mass file storage
Convergence of block and file storage:
Nowadays, new storage device includes best of both world’s block level and file level storage capabilities.