What is Block Storage?

Block storage is typically used in cloud computing environments to provide storage volumes (disk sized chunks of storage) for virtual machines. The virtual machines (VMs) use these block storage volumes the way a disk is traditionally used, e.g. to install the operating system, software programs, store data etc. Typically a VM will have at least one storage volume which is a dedicated allocation in a pool of block storage.

Block storage is a type of data storage that manages data as blocks or chunks of fixed sizes, typically ranging from a few kilobytes to several megabytes. Each block is assigned a unique identifier, and these blocks are organized and accessed in a specific order, often in the form of a block address or a logical block number (LBN).

Block storage is commonly used for storing data in enterprise storage environments, such as in SAN (storage area network) and NAS (network-attached storage) systems, and for providing storage for virtual machines and cloud computing. Unlike file storage, which organizes data as files and folders, block storage operates at a lower level, providing raw storage volumes that can be formatted with any file system or used for low-level disk access.

One of the advantages of block storage is its flexibility and scalability. It can be easily expanded by adding more storage blocks or disks, and it provides fast, efficient access to data, making it suitable for high-performance applications and database management systems.

Block storage is also known for its reliability and data protection features. Data can be replicated across multiple disks or nodes to ensure redundancy and data integrity, and data recovery and backup processes can be easily implemented to protect against data loss or corruption.