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Block-level access and NAS

What's the reason that block-level access is not adequate for NAS? I see that database on NAS is not a problem for performance.

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I need to interpret your question a little here. I believe you are asking why might you still need block-level access instead of file access with a NAS. There are performance demands where a solution that uses IP might not be adequate.

Remember, a NAS device resolves a file access to a block I/O to a device connected to it. Rather than your server having the file system do the block I/O, you are sending the request over an IP network to what in reality is another (specialized) server to do the I/O for you. The variability of the IP network, the extra overhead there and the extra cycles your server must use in handling the TCP/IP protocol stack may be more than the response time demanded by your application user.

You'll need to understand your requirements to be able to make an informed decision.

Randy Kerns
Evaluator Group, Inc.

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This was first published in August 2003

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