Difference Between Block Storage vs File Storage
A block is a physical record that has a sequence of bytes or bits. Block size is having the maximum number of records within its length. When data is structured like this, it is said to be in the block. Data is stored in blocks and the process is called blocking while the process of extracting data is called deblocking. Data is stored in a hierarchical structure in file storage or file-based storage. Data is stored either in a computer hard drive or a network-attached storage device. Multiple users can access and share the same data through the data locations differ.
Head to Head Comparison between Block Storage and File Storage (Infographics)
Below are the top 13 comparisons between Block Storage and File Storage:
Key Differences Between Block Storage and File Storage
Let us discuss some key differences between Block Storage and File Storage in the following points:
- In block storage, data is stored in blocks whereas, in file storage, data is stored as files. Many blocks join together to form a file. Thus, several block storages form file storage. The blocks have an address and this address is used to connect the data to a corresponding application. The blocks are combined together in the end.
- Large volumes of storage are created in block storage and each block is considered as a hard drive. The blocks are controlled by the server controlled operating systems and if formatting is required, each block can be formatted and data can be stored. In file storage, the hard drive is having a protocol such as NFS and SMB/CIFS from where the files can be accessed and used in large volumes.
- When comparing file and block storage, file storage is easy and simple which has less steps to implement the data storage. File storage is used in network-attached systems. Block storage is deployed in a network environment usually SAN and the implementation is not easy as compared to file storage.
- Block storage boots the system when the system is connected with this type of storage and hence the system has memory to store the data. Files are not easily accessible as file storage. File storage has data invisibility and it is the same as the users and the developers stored in the same location and same folders.
- Virtual machine file systems and special databases store data using block storage and hence it is bit expensive and takes resources to maintain the storage. Special applications can be created and maintained with no security flaws in block storage. File storage is less expensive and easy to maintain when compared with block storage. We cannot develop any special applications in file storage.
- Data stored as blocks can be easily transported from one folder or system to others and is reliable and efficient. Data in file storage is not easy to transport and is not efficient. File storage takes time to store data but it has access control to all the directories within the file storage.
Block Storage and File Storage Comparison Table
The table below summarizes the comparisons between Block Storage and File Storage:
|Block Storage||File Storage|
|Integration is not a property of block storage and the data in one block stays in that block unless taken out and stored in other blocks.||It integrates with other files and folders so that the data stored is shared with other folders as well.|
|The storage cannot be scaled up. If the limit exceeds, another hard drive or block is created to store the data in the block of the system.||The storage can be scaled up so that all the data is stored in one file folder.|
|Block storage is known for the dedicated storage of files and data as it cannot be shared with other folders.||File storage is known for shared storage as it shares the data with other folders and saves the same.|
|Data is stored in the form of evenly sized and organized volumes of data so that data does not mingle with any other folders. Each data has a unique address or id.||Data is represented in the form of a hierarchy of files and folders so that it is made easily accessible. It is similar to the paper files stored one after the other in order.|
|Single path does not take to the data as the data is distributed and so that the data can be retrieved faster.||A single path is created to access data in file storage as the data is organized in the form of a hierarchy.|
|Users can configure and manage the data based on any format. Also, it can be partitioned with the amount of data. The data can be accessed in any operating system.||Users cannot configure and manage the data in any format. Also, the data cannot be accessed in any operating system.|
|Block storage cannot handle metadata and it has to be seen with an application or database level. This makes the developer work on the storage.||Metadata can be handles and the third application is not needed for file storage in the system. Developers can easily handle file storage.|
|Block storage can be said as a hard drive in the server as it uses a traditional method of data storage. This storage is more flexible when compared with file storage.||Data stored in file storage is basically for sharing the files to other files or folders. Flexibility is less in file storage.|
|It is complex to manage the files in block storage. Files must be stored in a server to a server basis.||Files can be easily managed in file storage. File per server need not be considered and the files can be literally stored anywhere.|
|No centralized servers are present and the data is distributed to all the folders and servers present. No duplicate data is available and raw files are not stored in block storage.||A centralized server is present to store all the files. We can say that file storage is used to dump all the raw files in the system. It is a simple method of storing the files.|
This is a guide to Block Storage vs File Storage. Here we have discussed Block Storage vs File Storage head to head comparison, key difference along with infographics and comparison table. You may also have a look at the following articles to learn more –