Tutorial Series

Getting Started with DigitalOcean Block Storage

DigitalOcean Block Storage allows you to attach additional storage volumes to your Droplets quickly and easily. Block Storage volumes function like regular block devices when attached to your servers, allowing you to use familiar tools to manage your storage needs. In this series, we will introduce basic Linux storage terminology, cover how to create and manage Block Storage volumes, and how to perform a variety of administrative tasks to keep your volumes running smoothly.
  • Linux has robust systems and tooling to manage hardware devices, including storage drives. In this article we'll cover, at a high level, how Linux represents these devices and how raw storage is made into usable space on the server.
  • DigitalOcean's Block Storage allows you to create and attach additional storage volumes to your DigitalOcean Droplets. Volumes are an independent resource that can easily be moved from one Droplet to another within the same datacenter. Attached volumes function like locally connected storage drives, allowing you to manage your storage with familiar tools and techniques.
  • DigitalOcean Block Storage volumes provide an easy method of adjusting the storage space available to a Droplet. After creating and attaching a volume to a Droplet using the DigitalOcean control panel or API, the raw storage space must be partitioned, formatted, and mounted before it can be used. This guide will cover how to complete these steps when working with volumes.
  • By attaching a DigitalOcean Block Storage volume to a Droplet, you can easily increase your server's capacity as your requirements change. While it's possible to attach multiple volumes to a single Droplet to expand the available capacity of your server, it's also possible to expand the size of an existing volume. This process involves increasing the size of the volume in your DigitalOcean account, followed by some operations on the server itself to expand any partitions and filesystems.
  • Continuous use of SSDs results in degraded performance if not accounted for and mitigated. The TRIM command is an operation that allows the operating system to propagate information down to the SSD about which blocks of data are no longer in use. This allows the SSD's internal systems to better manage wear leveling and prepare the device for future writes. Continuous TRIM is possible, but can negatively impact performance. Scheduled, periodic TRIM is a good alternative in most cases.