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yip459
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block level vs. file level

Could someone give (or reference a source) that explains  the difference between block level and file level storage of data, in simplest possible terms?
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Paul Solovyovsky

8/22/2022 - Mon
Guy Hengel [angelIII / a3]

in short: 1 file is stored using 1 or more blocks (depending on the size).
when doing a incremental or differential backup, when a file has changed, you can do
* a full file backup (all the blocks of the file)
* a backup of just the blocks that have changed ...

this is a good backup "compression" method if you have large files which don't change all at once, but only partially.
Tony Giangreco

Block level backup is normaly usined in a image backup where the entire partition is backed up as one file compared to a file backup where each file is backed up one at a time. Both have their pros and cons.

We use Backup Exec for all server backups and Windows Backup for workstations.

File backups are normally more flexible as you can restore a single file. Image backups normally only allow the entire partition restore. Frommy experience with apps like Ghost yers ago, they normally perform Image backups.
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Larry Struckmeyer MVP

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Paul Solovyovsky

When most people talk about file or block they do this in terms of storage.  File level is just that, it's accessed as file.  The protocol that is typically used is NFS/CIFS (SMB windows NTFS,etc.).  Normally access for file is a NAS type of device

Block is the underlying storage and is accessed via Fibre Channel, iSCSI, Fibre Channel over Ethernet, etc..  Block storage is typically accessed via direct storage such as  an volume from a disk array or a LUN from a SAN device.

What are you trying to implement or looking into?
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Walt Forbes
yip459

ASKER
Just trying to implement some NAS storage, it gives the option to utilize block level or file level , and I needed more infomation about it in order to decide: Thanks all, very informative and you have all helped.
Paul Solovyovsky

file level means that it can do cifs or nfs.  block level means that it can create a iscsi lun that youc an attach to a server as a volume