File-level storage is the predominant storage technology used on hard drives, network-attached storage (NAS) systems and similar storage systems. File-level storage stands in contrast to block-level storage in that individual files and folders can be accessed and managed by the storage system, whereas the smaller storage blocks that make up the files and folders cannot be directly controlled.
File-Level Storage vs. Block-Level Storage
Block-level storage, on the other hand, is frequently deployed by larger businesses and enterprises in storage area networks (SANs) and similar large-scale storage systems. With block-level storage, each block can be controlled as an individual hard drive, and the blocks are typically managed by a server-based operating system.
In file-level storage systems, the storage drives need to be configured with a storage protocol like NFS or SMB/CIFS in order to be visible and accessible by an operating system. Block-level storage systems, on the other hand, rely on protocols like iSCSI, Fibre Channel and FCoE (Fibre Channel over Ethernet).
Recommended Reading: What Is Enterprise Storage?
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