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?
- Watch Datamation's editor James Maguire moderate roundtable discussions with tech experts from companies such as Accenture, Dell, Blue Jeans Network, Microsoft and more »
Tape clearly is on the decline. But remember, legacy systems can hang for a shockingly long time. Read More »Apple Pay Promises to Strengthen Payment Security
Experts believe that Apple Pay and other competitive payment systems will be far more secure than cards, even cards equipped with EMV chips. Read More »Internet of Things Shaping IT's Future
To make the IoT both work and pay off, IT is juggling upgrading and building app-centric networks, mapping out new data center architectures and... Read More »
This Webopedia study guide describes the different parts of a computer system and their relations. Read More »Webopedia Polls
The trend for the past two years has been for shoppers to spend more online during the holiday season. How do you typically shop for holiday... Read More »How to Create a Desktop Shortcut to a Website
This Webopedia guide will show you how to create a desktop shortcut to a website using Firefox, Chrome or Internet Explorer (IE). Read More »