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difference

Created: 29 Jan 2013 • Updated: 30 Jan 2013 | 20 comments
This issue has been solved. See solution.

difference between blocl level and file level storage n simple terms.

i have searched google also

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mikebounds's picture

If you access storage at block level, then the filesystem (or lack of filesystem) is irrelevent and so for example, VVR replicates at block level and Netbackup can back-up to tape at block level and so ANY fileystem is supported and you don't even need to have a filesystem so you can replicate or back-up raw files such as Oracle Raw files. So for a Veritas volume, at block level you use device /dev/vx/diskgroup/volume.   For some technologies operating at block level, only certain Volume Managements will be supported, so for instance VVR ONLY works with Veritas Volume Manager

If you access storage at File level then you are accessing files in the filesystem so if the filesystem is mounting /dev/vx/diskgroup/volume on /mnt, then you may be accessing /mnt/dir/test

Mike

UK Symantec Consultant in VCS, GCO, SF, VVR, VxAT on Solaris, AIX, HP-ux, Linux & Windows

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Arun K's picture

what is the role of file system here?

mikebounds's picture

If you access the storage at a file level, then often, the filesystem becomes irrelevent, so for instance if you use rsync to replicate files, then this works on any filesystem.  

In what context are you enquiring about difference between block level and file level  - for replication or back-up or something else?

Mike

UK Symantec Consultant in VCS, GCO, SF, VVR, VxAT on Solaris, AIX, HP-ux, Linux & Windows

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Arun K's picture

I just want to know the difference in terms of SAN and NAS

mikebounds's picture

I am not quite sure what you mean.  A SAN can only be available at block level.  NAS can be available at block level so it presents a LUN to the host which looks no different to a SAN LUN, or fileSYSTEM level (not really file level) where you mount it using NFS. 

Mike

UK Symantec Consultant in VCS, GCO, SF, VVR, VxAT on Solaris, AIX, HP-ux, Linux & Windows

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Arun K's picture

Thats what i need to know.What happens in case of SAN and what in case of NAS.

Please explain in simple terms(live examples) and basic

mikebounds's picture

I don't understand your question - needs to be something like:

When X happens where I am using SAN when doing Y at blocklevel compared to doing Y at file level and how is this different when using NAS.

What options have you being given in terms of block-level and file-level solutions.

Mike

UK Symantec Consultant in VCS, GCO, SF, VVR, VxAT on Solaris, AIX, HP-ux, Linux & Windows

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Arun K's picture

Yes.Exactly.

I just wanna know the basic difference

When X happens where I am using SAN when doing Y at blocklevel compared to doing Y at file level and how is this different when using NAS.

mikebounds's picture

Having X and Y undefined is too general - Y could be writing, reading, replicating, backing up and X could be anything, so you need to say what X and Y are.  

Why are asking this quesion - "difference between block level and file level storage", are you considering some sort of solution for an enviroment you are creating - you need to give more details on what you are trying to do and what options you are considering.

Mike

UK Symantec Consultant in VCS, GCO, SF, VVR, VxAT on Solaris, AIX, HP-ux, Linux & Windows

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Arun K's picture

Mike Thanks.

I just want to know how data travels in case of block level and file level storage in simple terms

mikebounds's picture

I still don't know what you really mean.  You generally don't write at a block level - you normally write a a file level and then the filesystem in turns writes at a block level.  So unless you are using raw files like some databases use, you can't avoid writing at file level, so it doesn't make sense to compare block level to file level.

Mike

UK Symantec Consultant in VCS, GCO, SF, VVR, VxAT on Solaris, AIX, HP-ux, Linux & Windows

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Arun K's picture

I have a D drive on server win23.

  1. D drive is coming from NAS..What this means?

2.  D drive is coming from SAN.wHAT this means?

3.    What is this File system?

4.Why we have block level and File level if they both are same?

mikebounds's picture

This is not really a SF question - but I'll have a go:

If D drive is coming from SAN, this means it is connected via Fibre Channel to your server and presented as a LUN to your server which will see it as a Harddisk like it would see internel disks.

If D drive is coming from NAS, this means it is connected via the network and it could be presented as a LUN, but more likely it is presented as a Network drive (so in explorer it would say something X: drive mapped to \\NAS_server\data).

If your storage is present as a LUN (SAN or NAS), then you have block level access to it, which means you can choose if you want to use LVM (Windows Logical Volume Management) or SFW (Storage Foundation for Windows which provides Symantec Veritas Volume Management) to partition or create volumes on the LUN .  You can also choose which fileysystem you put it on which is limited to NTFS or FAT on Windows.

If you are using NAS and it is presented as a Mapped network drive, then you cannot use LVM or SFW to partition your storage and there is already a filesystem on it which could be several different types on the NAS box itself, but it is presented as NFS (network Filesystem).

So block level and File level are not the same and whether you have block level or File level access to determines what options you have to do with the storage.

Mike

UK Symantec Consultant in VCS, GCO, SF, VVR, VxAT on Solaris, AIX, HP-ux, Linux & Windows

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SOLUTION
Arun K's picture

Thanks Mike.

In case of NAS.What we actually do?

First we cretae a File system on NAS box and then?

Yasuhisa Ishikawa's picture

Arun,

the questions you posted here are nothing relating to Storage Foundation. You should go to Microsoft forum, your NAS vendor, or somewhere for more common questions about computer and storage systems.

Authorized Symantec Consultant(ASC) Data Protection in Tokyo, Japan

Arun K's picture

Mike can u plz show some light on this.

mikebounds's picture

Arun, I have never worked on a NAS box - my expertise is with Symantec products and I believe the answer on the differences between block level and file level has been answered.  If want to know more about setting up NAS, then as Yasuhisa says, you should ask at the appropiate forurm.

Mike

UK Symantec Consultant in VCS, GCO, SF, VVR, VxAT on Solaris, AIX, HP-ux, Linux & Windows

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Arun K's picture

I just wanna know data on disk goes in terms of block.How these block size is defned?or where we defined block size?

g_lee's picture

Arun,

As Mike and Yasuhisa have already mentioned, you need to speak to your platform and/or NAS vendor for this information - this is not related to Storage Foundation, so endlessly repeating the question here is not going to help.

regards,
Grace

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Marianne's picture

Arun, it seems that you have missed out on BASIC computer training. You may want to ask your management to send you on training. Start with intro training on the OS'es you are working on, followed by Sysadmin training. These basic concepts are explained in Unix training.
In the meantime, start with Google and sites like Wikipedia...

Mike - BIG thumbs-up for your patience...

Supporting Storage Foundation and VCS on Unix and Windows as well as NetBackup on Unix and Windows
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