Block Storage Volumes Glossary

Block storage volumes are network-based block devices that provide additional data storage for Droplets. You can move them between Droplets and resize them at any time. Learn more about volumes.


This glossary defines the core concepts behind Block Storage Volumes to help build your mental model of how Block Storage Volumes work and understand what the documentation is referring to when it uses certain terminology.

Attaching a DigitalOcean Block Storage Volume to a Droplet lets you mount the volume to make it accessible to the Droplet’s filesystem. Similarly, unattaching a volume from a Droplet lets you reattach it to another Droplet.
In cloud computing, block storage is a network-based way to store data. Block storage services, like DigitalOcean Block Storage Volumes, provide similar behavior to traditional block storage devices, like hard drives.
ext4, or fourth extended file system, is a journaling file system for Linux. ext4’s most common use case is formatting block storage volumes, hard drives, and other computing storage solutions.
Formatting a storage device, like a hard drive or block storage, creates a filesystem on the device (and erases any existing data). You typically only need to format a device once, when you first create it.
IOPS, or input/output operations per second, is a measurement of the performance of storage devices. A higher IOPS measurement implies better performance for reading and writing data.
Linux Unified Key Setup (LUKS) is an open source disk encryption specification for block storage devices.
Mounting makes the data on a storage device, like block storage, available to the file system on a computer. Users on the computer can then read and write to mounted storage devices.