As a business’s data requirements become more extensive, its storage demands increase as well. Cloud block storage maximizes the efficiency of a server for maximum data storage and scalability. Although the concept may seem abstract, it has concrete implications for data management and file storage.
An Overview of Cloud Block Storage
Blocks are the lowest level of data storage, residing on a server beneath the level of file storage. Because they’re relatively simple, blocks offer an independent storage method that can be scaled as needed in a number of ways to keep costs low. Blocks accommodate a wide range of data types, including databases, files and virtual machine file system volumes. Compare this to a file-level storage system, which only accommodates files. Although you might be able to store spreadsheets, marketing PDFs and images on a file-based storage system, you can’t store other types of data.
As you fill the block with data, you can expand to an additional block without disturbing other data on the server. The data is stored independently from the hardware, so you can move the block storage from one server to another without disturbing the hardware. Think of it like a separate hard drive on a server: You can remove the hard drive from one server and take it to another without disturbing the files.
Block storage is more challenging to administer than file-level storage, since administrators need to manage storage per server, track device performance and set security and protection levels. With cloud block storage, the cloud vendor takes on all the maintenance and administration of the storage server, so you don’t have to worry. You can connect to the cloud storage through an easy-to-use graphical user interface. Many common applications use block-level storage, including Microsoft Exchange and VMware, so you may already be taking advantage of block storage in your business life without even realizing it.
Block Storage’s Benefits
If all you need is a place to put files, TechRepublic recommends file-level storage, but if you’re looking for extensible storage options, cloud block storage can’t be beat. It offers faster speeds, greater reliability and faster performance than a file-based storage system. Block storage can also be formatted differently to accommodate a range of file systems that might be required by an application.
Consider these applications of block-level storage:
- Move stored data to your block storage and then delete the contents of your server. Since everything is on the block storage, costs are kept down by paying only for the capacity you’re using.
- Lend more storage to applications and databases that demand a high level of space, freeing up room on your solid state drive (SSD) for other applications.
- Enhance the storage space of a cloud server without paying additional costs for cloud space.
- Use the extra space to increase system speed and performance.
- Keep computing costs low by paying only for the resources you need at any given time.
- Use block storage for databases, applications, files or a combination.
A reputable cloud company can help you get started with block storage, monitor your block storage and perform all the necessary system maintenance and upgrades. See for yourself why businesses have taken to block storage to increase capacity and lower costs.