NFS Storage and the “Block Dinosaur”

Disclaimer: If you don’t have a sense of humour and/or you just really love block storage, Parental Guidance is recommend.

23-Apr-15 8-42-18 PM

For as long as I can remember it has not been uncommon for I.T “professionals” working in the storage industry or in a storage role to make statements about NFS (Network File System) as if its is a 2nd class citizen in the storage world.

I’ve heard any number of statements such as:

  • NFS is slow(er) than block storage
  • NFS (datastores) don’t honour all SCSI commands
  • NFS is not scalable
  • NFS uses significantly more CPU than block storage
  • NFS does not support <insert your favourite technology here>

People making these statements are known as “Block Dinosaurs

The definition of “Block Dinosaur” is as follows:

“Block Dinosaur”

 Pronounced: [blok] – [dahy-nuh-sawr]


  1. a homo sapien becoming less common in the wild since the widespread use of NFS with vSphere and Hyper-Converged solutions
  2. a species soon to be extinct, of which attempts to spread Fear Uncertainty and Doubt (FUD) about the capabilities of NFS storage
  3. someone that provides storage which is unwieldy in size, inflexible and requires an outdated technologies such as “LUNs” , “Zoning” & “Masking”.
  4. a person unable to adapt to change who continues to attempt to sell outdated equipment: e.g.: The SAN dinosaur recommended an outdated product that was complicated and cost the company millions to install and operate.
  5. a person who does not understand SCSI protocol emulation and/or has performed little/no practical testing of NFS storage in which to have an informed opinion;
  6. a person who drinks from the fire hose of their respective employer or predominately block storage vendor;

Synonyms for “Block Dinosaur”

  1. SAN zombie
  2. Old-School SAN salesman
  3. SAN hugger
Origin of “Block dinosaur”
Believed to have originated in Hopkinton, MA, USA but quickly spread to Santa Clara, California and onto Armonk, NY before going global after frequent “parroting” of anti NAS or NFS statements.
Recent “Block Dinosaur” sightings:
The only cool “Block Dinosaurs” are a different species and can only be found at Lego Land.
Final (and more serious) Thought:
I hope this post came across as light hearted as its not meant to upset anyone, at the same time, I would really like the ridiculous debate about Block vs File storage be put to bed, its 2015 people, there is much more important things to worry about.
The fact is there are advantages to both block and file storage and reasons where you may use one over another depending on requirements. At the end of the day both can provide enterprise grade storage solutions which provide business outcomes to customers, so there is no need to bash one or the other.

5 thoughts on “NFS Storage and the “Block Dinosaur”

  1. Aha good point.
    But you know which other protocol suffered the same kind of FUD NFS did?
    -“SMB is slow”
    -“SBM is sooo chatty”
    -“SMB is unsecure”

    Amusingly, a lot of these dinosaurs are NFS lovers :)