What is block I/O?
Block I/O is ultimately what is done to a disk drive. Disks today in open systems store data in fixed blocks (usually 512 bytes) in a linear address space. Doing block I/O means that the application or file system is sending blocks to the disk drive to be written or asking for blocks using a logical block address (LBA). File systems turn file requests into block I/O. Applications (including databases) can do file I/O or they can bypass the filesystem and do block I/O (this is usually called raw I/O). Obviously it's easier to do file I/O, and you can do file sharing much easier that way. Doing block I/O may have performance advantages (in control of the buffering/caching and not having the file system overhead).
Dig Deeper on Data storage strategy
Related Q&A from Randy Kerns
What is the one hidden gotcha that you'd advise users about if they were shopping for an all-flash storage array?continue reading
How much control do you have with all-flash storage arrays? How much control do you have over how arrays handle your data? Do you control the caching?continue reading
Vendors often publish numbers for 'usable' capacity versus 'effective' capacity. Can you explain this and how can you plan flash capacity needs with ...continue reading
Have a question for an expert?
Please add a title for your question
Get answers from a TechTarget expert on whatever's puzzling you.