Difference between partition and raw disk

Updated by Anthony Hakim on Nov 13, 2015

Overview

When we create a server, or modify storage on an existing server, we face the option of using a partition or raw disk.

Difference between partition and raw disk

This guide outlines the differences between the two options.

What is a Partition?

A partition, in the case of a Virtual Server, is an area that has been carved out of a virtual disk. When adding a partition to a Windows Server in the Control Portal, you are required to provide a drive letter.

Difference between partition and raw disk

When adding a partition to a Linux Server in the Control Portal, you are required to provide a path.

Difference between partition and raw disk

Once the partition has been successfully added to the Virtual Machine (VM) in the Control Portal, it will most likely appear as a new drive, without a need for additional configuration.

Difference between partition and raw disk

Difference between partition and raw disk

What is Raw Disk?

Raw disk typically means more flexible configuration options. When we add raw disk to a VM, additional configuration is necessary before it is considered usable. Size is the only mandatory information required when adding a raw disk to a VM (Windows or Linux) in the Control Portal.

Once the raw disk has been successfully added to the VM in the Control Portal, the disk will need to be initialized within the Operating System (OS), in this case, Windows Server.

Difference between partition and raw disk

After the raw disk has been initialized, a new volume can be created, a drive letter can be assigned (or not), and you are presented with the various options of file systems to format the volume to prepare it for use.

Difference between partition and raw disk

Difference between partition and raw disk

Linux servers require similar configuration, such as fdisk to create a new partition, then the partition is formatted and mounted to prepare it for use within the OS.

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