Volume Features

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.


Use Cases

Volumes are most useful when you need more storage space but don’t need the additional processing power or memory that a larger Droplet would provide, like:

  • As the document root or media upload directory for a web server
  • To house database files for a database server
  • As a target location for backups
  • As expanded storage for personal file hosting platforms like ownCloud
  • As components for building more advanced storage solutions, like RAID arrays

Ease of Use

Volumes function as generic block devices, so you can treat attached volumes like locally connected storage drives. This lets you partition, format, and manage volumes with familiar tools and techniques.

You can choose to automatically format and mount a volume for first-time use on Ubuntu, Fedora, Debian 8+, CentOS, and Fedora Atomic.

Flexibility

Volumes are independent resources, so you can move them between Droplets in the same datacenter, and you can increase the size of a volume without powering down the Droplet it’s attached to.

Volume snapshots are full disk images that you create on demand. Create a snapshot to save the contents of the volume, and create volumes based on snapshots to create a new volume with the same contents.

Performance

Like Droplets, volumes are backed by SSDs.

Volumes also have burst support. Burst support automatically increases volumes’ IOPS and bandwidth rates for short periods of time (60 seconds) before returning to baseline performance to cool off (60 seconds) to support spikes in workload.

Droplet Type IOPS Throughput
Standard 5K 200 MB/s
Standard (Burst) 7.5K 300 MB/s
Optimized 7.5K 300 MB/s
Optimized (Burst) 10K 350 MB/s

Security

Volumes are encrypted with LUKS (Linux Unified Key Setup). The entire storage cluster is encrypted, so snapshots of volumes are also encrypted at rest.

Volumes are built with Ceph. As we describe in our blog post on why we chose Ceph:

Ceph is built for redundancy, and we carefully ensure that the loss of a single drive, server, or even an entire data center rack does not compromise data integrity or availability.

Ceph gracefully heals itself when individual components fail, ensuring continuity of service with uncompromising data protection. Additionally, we use sophisticated monitoring systems built around tools including Icinga, Prometheus, and our own open-source ceph_exporter. These help us respond immediately to any issues with our Ceph infrastructure to ensure continuous availability.

Volumes store data on hardware that is separated from the Droplet and replicated multiple times across different racks, reducing the chances of data loss because of hardware failure.