Introduction to Object, Block, and Local Storage
When it comes to hosting your applications, the storage solution you choose can greatly impact performance, security, and cost. Vultr offers a range of storage solutions. Each solution has its unique features and benefits. You can optimize your application's performance and achieve higher efficiency by choosing a storage solution that best fits your requirements.
This guide evaluates the benefits, drawbacks, and ideal use cases of different storage solutions to help you compare them and make an informed decision.
Storage Solutions Overview
This section walks you through the overview of the different storage solutions. Different storage solutions are available to meet the various requirements of your application. The next sections evaluate the benefits, drawbacks, and ideal use cases.
The following are the storage solutions offered by Vultr.
- Object Storage
- Block Storage
- Local Storage
The Vultr Object Storage solution allows you to handle large amounts of unstructured data. This storage solution is highly flexible and infinitely scalable. It divides the files you upload into where each object contains the data, metadata, and unique identifier that applications can use for access and retrieval. The price of the object storage service depends on the total storage and outbound transfer bandwidth.
The Vultr Block Storage solution allows you to create expandable volumes and mount them to your compute instances. These volumes are storage blocks that replicate a physical disk's functionality. You can also use them for persistent volumes in your Vultr Kubernetes Engine clusters. The price of the block storage volumes depends on the total storage and the storage class.
The local storage solution refers to the inbuilt storage of your compute instances. This storage is directly attached to the instance. The total capacity is propositional to the compute resources of your instance, such as the vCPUs, RAM, and so on. The more resources your instance has, the more local storage capacity you will have. The instance plan you select includes the price of the local storage.
Features and Benefits
This section provides an overview of the benefits and features of different storage solutions. It compares and contrasts the options to help you understand their capabilities.
The following are the features and benefits of the object storage solution.
- High-performance NVMe caching layer for frequently accessed files.
- Supports S3 API for integration with S3-enabled applications.
- On-demand scalability. You can expand or shrink your storage capacity at any given time.
- Internet accessible endpoint. Retrievable via HTTPS. Uploaded objects are private by default.
- You only pay for what you use. Flexible pricing based on the amount of storage and bandwidth utilized.
- High reliability and durability. Your data is automatically cloned 3 times to ensure high availability.
The following are the features and benefits of the block storage solution.
- Supports in-place volume size expansion.
- Attach up to 16 volumes to the same instance.
- Encrypted with Advanced Encryption Standard, using 256-bit keys (AES-256).
- Designed for data durability. Vultr replicates each volume across a highly available cluster.
- Expand capacity up to 40TB per volume using HDD volumes and 10TB per volume using NVMe volumes.
- Available in two different storage classes. HDD volumes for affordable and scalable storage and NVMe for high-performance storage for workloads requiring rapid I/O operations.
The following are the features and benefits of the local storage solution.
- Provides low latency storage as it is directly attached to the instance.
- You can upscale the local storage by upgrading the compute instance plan.
- Ease of management. It does not require additional configuration or management.
- All servers expect entry-level options feature high-performance NVMe disks.
- You can set up automatic backups or use on-demand snapshots to back up this storage.
- Cost-effective solution as it does not require additional data transfer or retrieval costs.
Drawbacks and Weaknesses
This section discusses the drawbacks and weaknesses of each storage solution, providing a more comprehensive understanding of the options available. This information can help you understand the trade-offs and considerations when choosing a storage solution.
The following are the drawbacks and weaknesses of the object storage solution.
- Your application may hit the rate limit of 400 requests per IP address per second. Refer to the Vultr Object Storage FAQ for more information.
- Higher complexity as you need to adapt your application according to the object storage solution.
- Outbound transfers are chargeable, whereas block storage solution does not charge based on data transfers.
- Limited performance compared to the block storage solution for applications requiring rapid I/O operations.
- While it is possible to mount an object storage bucket to the file system, it is not ideal due to lower throughput.
- Limited security options, the object storage solution does not encrypt the stored data, unlike the block storage solution.
The following are the drawbacks and weaknesses of the block storage solution.
- You can not use block storage volumes with the bare metal servers as they are not virtualized.
- Higher cost per storage unit as the volumes are not distributed across different servers like the object storage solution.
- You can not attach the block storage volumes to multiple servers without advanced configuration, such as setting up an NFS server.
- You can not infinitely scale a block storage volume, unlike the object storage solution, where you can store unlimited data.
- You can not downgrade a block storage volume without migrating the files to a new volume to avoid the risk of data loss while resizing the file system.
- You can not move a block storage volume to a different region without migrating the files to a new volume, unlike local storage by using snapshots.
Vultr imposes limits on the total number of block storage volumes and the total storage allocated per account. You may raise a support ticket to know more about the account limitations.
The following are the drawbacks and weaknesses of the local storage solution.
- You lose the data when you delete the server.
- You can not detach the volume, unlike the block storage volumes.
- You can lose access to the data in case of software or operating system failure.
- You can not increase the storage capacity without increasing the compute resources.
- Lower data reliability as the data is not replicated across a highly available cluster.
- HDD storage class is not available for cost-effective large capacity as it focuses on performance.
Optimal Use Cases
This section explains the optimal use cases for each storage solution. It describes the specific situations and scenarios in which each solution is most suitable and provides examples of when it would be most beneficial to use that particular solution.
The following are the optimal use cases for the object storage solution.
- Store large amounts of data leveraging infinite scalability.
- Integrate with cloud-native applications using the S3 API support.
- You can use multiple object storage regions for low latency connectivity.
- Archival storage for uploading backups, system logs, or other important files.
- Content distribution by offloading your web application's static files such as JS, CSS, and so on.
- Serve programmatically generated files using pre-authenticated links such as invoices, analytical reports, and so on.
The following are the optimal use cases for the block storage solution.
- Applications that require server-side data processing.
- Isolated storage volumes for Docker containers or Kubernetes pods.
- Large-scale data storage using HDD class volumes to increase the server capacity.
- RAID array using multiple block storage volumes for controllable data redundancy.
- High-performance workloads requiring high-throughput and low-latency data access, such as database servers.
- Critical applications such as ERP, CRM, and so on, as you can recover the data by detaching the block storage volume in case of operating system failure.
The following are the optimal use cases for the local storage solution.
- Ease of access to storage for development and testing environments.
- Low-complexity applications that do not require advanced storage solutions.
- Small-scale data storage for storing application files, media files, and so on.
- Temporarily storing files while downloading or processing data.
- Low-cost data storage as it comes with compute resources and does not incur additional costs for accessing the data.
- Most servers feature NVMe disks, which you can use for workloads that require high-throughput and low-latency access to data, such as database servers.
This guide walked you through various storage solutions offered by Vultr, including block storage, object storage, and local storage. Evaluating each option's benefits, drawbacks, and ideal use cases helps you determine which storage solution is best suited for your specific needs. Block storage is ideal for high-performance workloads that require high I/O operations, object storage is well-suited for storing and distributing large amounts of unstructured data, and local storage is optimal for basic applications.