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May 10th, 2011 10:00

What is exact difference between BLOCK Level Access/Storage and FILE Level Access/Storage

Actually I am a student studying Information Storage and Management and I have so many confusions learning this concepts...

Please help me getting a clear picture of the above topic and their implementation in NAS and SAN.


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May 11th, 2011 05:00

File level storage is what you get from a NAS. For example, the NAS will put a filesystem on the disks inside, NFS or CIFS and present that storage to the server as a share or mountpoint.

Block level storage which can be a SAN on fibre channel or ISCSI for example, is where you create a LUN (like an empty harddisk without filesystem on it) and present that LUN to a server. The server (for example Windows) sees it as a local disk in device manager and it can format the disk and use whatever filesystem is wants (NTFS for example).

You could also present it to VMware and ESX would in that case format the LUN with VMFS as filesystem. If a filelevel storage is presented to VMware ESX, it would be NFS and VMware ESX would use that to put the data onto it, missing the advantages of a VMFS file system.

Hope this makes it clearer...

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