To BLOB or Not To BLOB: Large Object Storage in a Database or a Filesystem?

  • Sears R
  • Van Ingen C
  • Gray J
  • 131


    Mendeley users who have this article in their library.
  • N/A


    Citations of this article.


Application designers often face the question of whether to store large objects in a filesystem or in a database. Often this decision is made for application design simplicity. Sometimes, performance measurements are also used. This paper looks at the question of fragmentation - one of the operational issues that can affect the performance and/or manageability of the system as deployed long term. As expected from the common wisdom, objects smaller than 256KB are best stored in a database while objects larger than 1M are best stored in the filesystem. Between 256KB and 1MB, the read:write ratio and rate of object overwrite or replacement are important factors. We used the notion of "storage age" or number of object overwrites as way of normalizing wall clock time. Storage age allows our results or similar such results to be applied across a number of read:write ratios and object replacement rates.

Get free article suggestions today

Mendeley saves you time finding and organizing research

Sign up here
Already have an account ?Sign in

Find this document


  • Russell Sears

  • Catharine Van Ingen

  • Jim Gray

Cite this document

Choose a citation style from the tabs below

Save time finding and organizing research with Mendeley

Sign up for free