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Block (data Storage)
In computing (specifically data transmission and data storage), a block, sometimes called a physical record, is a sequence of bytes or bits, usually containing some whole number of records, having a maximum length; a ''block size''. Data thus structured are said to be ''blocked''. The process of putting data into blocks is called ''blocking'', while ''deblocking'' is the process of extracting data from blocks. Blocked data is normally stored in a data buffer, and read or written a whole block at a time. Blocking reduces the overhead and speeds up the handling of the data stream. For some devices, such as magnetic tape and CKD disk devices, blocking reduces the amount of external storage required for the data. Blocking is almost universally employed when storing data to 9-track magnetic tape, NAND flash memory, and rotating media such as floppy disks, hard disks, and optical discs. Most file systems are based on a block device, which is a level of abstraction for the ...
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Computing
Computing is any goal-oriented activity requiring, benefiting from, or creating computing machinery. It includes the study and experimentation of algorithmic processes, and development of both hardware and software. Computing has scientific, engineering, mathematical, technological and social aspects. Major computing disciplines include computer engineering, computer science, cybersecurity, data science, information systems, information technology and software engineering. The term "computing" is also synonymous with counting and calculating. In earlier times, it was used in reference to the action performed by mechanical computing machines, and before that, to human computers. History The history of computing is longer than the history of computing hardware and includes the history of methods intended for pen and paper (or for chalk and slate) with or without the aid of tables. Computing is intimately tied to the representation of numbers, though mathematical ...
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Block Device
In Unix-like operating systems, a device file or special file is an interface to a device driver that appears in a file system as if it were an ordinary file. There are also special files in DOS, OS/2, and Windows. These special files allow an application program to interact with a device by using its device driver via standard input/output system calls. Using standard system calls simplifies many programming tasks, and leads to consistent user-space I/O mechanisms regardless of device features and functions. Overview Device files usually provide simple interfaces to standard devices (such as printers and serial ports), but can also be used to access specific unique resources on those devices, such as disk partitions. Additionally, device files are useful for accessing system resources that have no connection with any actual device, such as data sinks and random number generators. There are two general kinds of device files in Unix-like operating systems, known as ''characte ...
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ISCSI
Internet Small Computer Systems Interface or iSCSI ( ) is an Internet Protocol-based storage networking standard for linking data storage facilities. iSCSI provides block-level access to storage devices by carrying SCSI commands over a TCP/IP network. iSCSI facilitates data transfers over intranets and to manage storage over long distances. It can be used to transmit data over local area networks (LANs), wide area networks (WANs), or the Internet and can enable location-independent data storage and retrieval. The protocol allows clients (called ''initiators'') to send SCSI commands ( ''CDBs'') to storage devices (''targets'') on remote servers. It is a storage area network (SAN) protocol, allowing organizations to consolidate storage into storage arrays while providing clients (such as database and web servers) with the illusion of locally attached SCSI disks. It mainly competes with Fibre Channel, but unlike traditional Fibre Channel which usually requires dedicated cabling, ...
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Storage Area Network
A storage area network (SAN) or storage network is a computer network which provides access to consolidated, block-level data storage. SANs are primarily used to access data storage devices, such as disk arrays and tape libraries from servers so that the devices appear to the operating system as direct-attached storage. A SAN typically is a dedicated network of storage devices not accessible through the local area network (LAN). Although a SAN provides only block-level access, file systems built on top of SANs do provide file-level access and are known as shared-disk file systems. Newer SAN configurations enable hybrid SAN and allow traditional block storage that appears as local storage but also object storage for web services through APIs. Storage architectures Storage area networks (SANs) are sometimes referred to as ''network behind the servers'' and historically developed out of a centralized data storage model, but with its own data network. A SAN is, at its ...
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Fibre Channel
Fibre Channel (FC) is a high-speed data transfer protocol providing in-order, lossless delivery of raw block data. Fibre Channel is primarily used to connect computer data storage to servers in storage area networks (SAN) in commercial data centers. Fibre Channel networks form a switched fabric because the switches in a network operate in unison as one big switch. Fibre Channel typically runs on optical fiber cables within and between data centers, but can also run on copper cabling. Supported data rates include 1, 2, 4, 8, 16, 32, 64, and 128 gigabit per second resulting from improvements in successive technology generations. The industry now notates this as Gigabit Fibre Channel (GFC). There are various upper-level protocols for Fibre Channel, including two for block storage. Fibre Channel Protocol (FCP) is a protocol that transports SCSI commands over Fibre Channel networks. FICON is a protocol that transports ESCON commands, used by IBM mainframe computers, over Fibr ...
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SCSI
Small Computer System Interface (SCSI, ) is a set of standards for physically connecting and transferring data between computers and peripheral devices. The SCSI standards define commands, protocols, electrical, optical and logical interfaces. The SCSI standard defines command sets for specific peripheral device types; the presence of "unknown" as one of these types means that in theory it can be used as an interface to almost any device, but the standard is highly pragmatic and addressed toward commercial requirements. The initial Parallel SCSI was most commonly used for hard disk drives and tape drives, but it can connect a wide range of other devices, including scanners and CD drives, although not all controllers can handle all devices. The ancestral SCSI standard, X3.131-1986, generally referred to as SCSI-1, was published by the X3T9 technical committee of the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) in 1986. SCSI-2 was published in August 1990 as X3.T9.2/86-109 ...
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Database Management System
In computing, a database is an organized collection of data stored and accessed electronically. Small databases can be stored on a file system, while large databases are hosted on computer clusters or cloud storage. The design of databases spans formal techniques and practical considerations, including data modeling, efficient data representation and storage, query languages, security and privacy of sensitive data, and distributed computing issues, including supporting concurrent access and fault tolerance. A database management system (DBMS) is the software that interacts with end users, applications, and the database itself to capture and analyze the data. The DBMS software additionally encompasses the core facilities provided to administer the database. The sum total of the database, the DBMS and the associated applications can be referred to as a database system. Often the term "database" is also used loosely to refer to any of the DBMS, the database system or a ...
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Block Suballocation
Block suballocation is a feature of some computer file systems which allows large blocks or allocation units to be used while making efficient use of empty space at the end of large files, space which would otherwise be lost for other use to internal fragmentation. In file systems that don't support fragments, this feature is also called tail merging or tail packing because it is commonly done by packing the "tail", or last partial block, of multiple files into a single block. Rationale File systems have traditionally divided the disk into equally sized blocks to simplify their design and limit the worst-case fragmentation. Block sizes are typically multiples of 512 bytes due to the size of hard disk sectors. When files are allocated by some traditional file systems, only whole blocks can be allocated to individual files. But as file sizes are often not multiples of the file system block size, this design inherently results in the last blocks of files (called tails) occupying ...
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Unix File System
The Unix file system (UFS) is a family of file systems supported by many Unix and Unix-like operating systems. It is a distant descendant of the original filesystem used by Version 7 Unix. Design A UFS volume is composed of the following parts: * A few blocks at the beginning of the partition reserved for boot blocks (which must be initialized separately from the filesystem) * A superblock, containing a magic number identifying this as a UFS filesystem, and some other vital numbers describing this filesystem's geometry and statistics and behavioral tuning parameters * A collection of cylinder groups. Each cylinder group has the following components: ** A backup copy of the superblock ** A cylinder group header, with statistics, free lists, etc., about this cylinder group, similar to those in the superblock ** A number of inodes, each containing file attributes ** A number of data blocks Inodes are numbered sequentially, starting at 0. Inode 0 is reserved for unallocate ...
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FreeBSD
FreeBSD is a free and open-source Unix-like operating system descended from the Berkeley Software Distribution (BSD), which was based on Research Unix. The first version of FreeBSD was released in 1993. In 2005, FreeBSD was the most popular open-source BSD operating system, accounting for more than three-quarters of all installed and permissively licensed BSD systems. FreeBSD has similarities with Linux, with two major differences in scope and licensing: FreeBSD maintains a complete system, i.e. the project delivers a kernel, device drivers, userland utilities, and documentation, as opposed to Linux only delivering a kernel and drivers, and relying on third-parties for system software; FreeBSD source code is generally released under a permissive BSD license, as opposed to the copyleft GPL used by Linux. The FreeBSD project includes a security team overseeing all software shipped in the base distribution. A wide range of additional third-party applications may be i ...
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Btrfs
Btrfs (pronounced as "better F S", "butter F S", "b-tree F S", or simply by spelling it out) is a computer storage format that combines a file system based on the copy-on-write (COW) principle with a logical volume manager (not to be confused with Linux's LVM), developed together. It was initially designed at Oracle Corporation in 2007 for use in Linux, and since November 2013, the file system's on-disk format has been declared stable in the Linux kernel. According to Oracle, Btrfs "is not a true acronym". Btrfs is intended to address the lack of pooling, snapshots, checksums, and integral multi-device spanning in Linux file systems. Chris Mason, the principal Btrfs author, stated that its goal was "to let inuxscale for the storage that will be available. Scaling is not just about addressing the storage but also means being able to administer and to manage it with a clean interface that lets people see what's being used and makes it more reliable". History The core dat ...
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