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Should You Setup Block Storage In Cloud Computing?

Were you aware that block storage can be setup alongside cloud computing?

This might sound strange but is true. Organizations running on a shoe-string IT budget prefer block volumes and use virtual volumes only as supplementary disks.

From a technical standpoint, block storage and clouds are two of the extremities of file storage techniques, and represent systems that are different in all possible aspects. Put simply, clouds and blocks couldn’t be any more different and this begs us the question as to why anyone would want block storage deployed on their cloud.

Difference between block storage and cloud

In layman’s terms, when each virtual partition in your hard drive is made to act like an individual hard drive, you are said to have implemented block storage. On the other hand, when you pool several hard drives together to make them look like it were one single disk, with storage space cumulative of the individual disks, it is called the cloud.

Block storage may be the thing of the past but still not exiled

If truth be told, block storage is just as outdated as Windows NT, and since early 2010, not many organizations have retained their block volumes. A majority – say around 70% – switched to a cloud setup and the remaining either rented a host or colocated their server. Of the remaining 30%, only a trace – less than 2% – are still on block disks.

To cut things short, block storages are a thing of the past and have been phased out given the increasing popularity and low maintenance of prevailing cloud services.

But blocks were never completely exiled.

Businesses that migrated to the cloud did not completely banish block disks and have been using the same for peculiar use-case scenarios, where seclusion from the existing storage is needed. In order to achieve this, organizations have regularly had their cloud space bifurcated into several blocks, each serving a different purpose but with the same underlying motive.

The best example one can have on how blocks volumes are implemented, and shredded from central storage, is that of the LOCAL.

LOCAL

A new PC comes with a single hard drive that shows up as one volume. Now to better manage archives on your LOCAL, and to keep personal files organized and separate from those from work, you may create BLOCKS, in this case ‘Partitions’, of your hard drive.

The partitions, despite sharing the same physical memory, work like individual disks that are somehow unaware of the existence of their neighbors.

Modern PCs have hybrid disks, a combination of solid-state and hard drive, but implement block the same way notwithstanding their hybrid architecture.

Cloud Computing

Why setting up Block storage on Cloud has its own advantages?

The advantages of a block even on a virtualized cloud setup cannot be completely overlooked despite it being touted as an obsolete tech.

For small businesses that have limited fungible resource and cannot spend on on-site setups, blocks are the only way to create a highly-specialized app-development environment on the cloud.

Perks of block storage that make it a win-win

#1 Time

Even if your business has all the money needed to procure an on-site setup, hardware procurement takes time, which may span up to a few weeks. The testing phase in an app cycle may last anywhere between a couple of days to a month, so by the time the on-site setup gets erected, you’d be running two weeks behind your schedule.

#2 Cost

Even if the deadline for the project is nowhere close, hanging around for two weeks doing nothing while waiting for your block to get installed is not a very logical thing to do. At almost half the price you can get the same setup online, provisioned almost instantly.

Neither cost nor time factor is in favor of on-site block storage, should you choose to have one, and your best bet is to configure block volumes on an existing cloud environment.

#3 Maintenance

Sure, with onsite block storage you get more control and power, but as they say, in IT, with great power comes greater maintenance. So, when you sign in for on-site procurement, you are inadvertently signing in for 20+ hours of maintenance every week, or half a manpower every month.

“The maintenance that these systems demand is just humongous. They need 24/7 watch and vigilant eyes over them all around the year. The environment in which this needs to be maintained is just as worrying, just a degree higher and the system would overheat; a degree lower the performance drops down. It’s just hours and hours and more hours of direful machine work.”

Such kinds of IT maintenance is only possible if your setup is outsourced to IT companies like Go4hosting that offer dedicated IT maintenance services.

Since you’re aiming at leveraging the best of both technologies – virtualization and block – with as small an investment as possible, your best bet is outsourcing cloud storage service along with block. 

Takeaway

The bottom line is – businesses, small or big, should rendezvous with clouds should they ever need to setup block volumes.

Oftentimes, this is more difficult than it seems at first.

You cannot configure blocks without losing files if there is no free space available on your cloud server. Besides, deploying applications on fresh blocks eat up memory quickly from your CPU, so all your applications take a toll and the overall performance reduces significantly thereafter.

At Go4hosting, we’ve fabricated clouds with performance anticipation so your VM automatically estimates how much memory should be allocated to it. When the memory assigned is less than the estimate, a warning is displayed that the allotted resources might run short. If left unattended or forgotten, the VM will automatically borrow resources from other virtual machine (if you’ve enabled the option) and loads are evenly shared across all VMs.

Ping in out chatbox or call us on XXXXXXXXXX to get started with intelligent block volumes on cloud servers.

About Nishant Nath (36 Posts)


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