Solved

block level vs. file level

Posted on 2012-12-25
6
1,091 Views
Last Modified: 2012-12-25
Could someone give (or reference a source) that explains  the difference between block level and file level storage of data, in simplest possible terms?
0
Comment
Question by:yip459
6 Comments
 
LVL 143

Expert Comment

by:Guy Hengel [angelIII / a3]
ID: 38720242
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.
0
 
LVL 25

Expert Comment

by:Tony Giangreco
ID: 38720246
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.
0
 
LVL 22

Accepted Solution

by:
Larry Struckmeyer MVP earned 500 total points
ID: 38720447
Windows?  Windows Server 2003 and before did file backups with NT Backup.  Windows Server 2008 and after do block level backups with wbadmin, fronted by a wizard.  Both will allow you to restore one or more files, and since Server 2008 R2 you have the option of selecting files.  You can also exclude files and folders.  

NTbackup had this "incremental" or "differential" variations, which I won't attempt to explain here.  Wbadmin does something similiar, but it is invisable.  It compares the prior bits on the backup target with the current bits on the source and only copies the changed ones.  So "incremental" backups with Server 2008 and later are usually very fast and can be done several times during an average work day.  (Shadow Copies, another topic for another time.)
0
Independent Software Vendors: We Want Your Opinion

We value your feedback.

Take our survey and automatically be enter to win anyone of the following:
Yeti Cooler, Amazon eGift Card, and Movie eGift Card!

 
LVL 42

Expert Comment

by:paulsolov
ID: 38720460
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?
0
 

Author Closing Comment

by:yip459
ID: 38720487
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.
0
 
LVL 42

Expert Comment

by:paulsolov
ID: 38720488
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
0

Featured Post

Independent Software Vendors: We Want Your Opinion

We value your feedback.

Take our survey and automatically be enter to win anyone of the following:
Yeti Cooler, Amazon eGift Card, and Movie eGift Card!

Question has a verified solution.

If you are experiencing a similar issue, please ask a related question

Workplace bullying has increased with the use of email and social media. Retain evidence of this with email archiving to protect your employees.
The article will include the best Data Recovery Tools along with their Features, Capabilities, and their Download Links. Hope you’ll enjoy it and will choose the one as required by you.
To efficiently enable the rotation of USB drives for backups, storage pools need to be created. This way no matter which USB drive is installed, the backups will successfully write without any administrative intervention. Multiple USB devices need t…
This tutorial will show how to configure a single USB drive with a separate folder for each day of the week. This will allow each of the backups to be kept separate preventing the previous day’s backup from being overwritten. The USB drive must be s…

740 members asked questions and received personalized solutions in the past 7 days.

Join the community of 500,000 technology professionals and ask your questions.

Join & Ask a Question