Storage lets you configure how flow code for deployments is persisted and retrieved by Prefect agents. Anytime you build a deployment, a storage block is used to upload the entire directory containing your workflow code (along with supporting files) to its configured location. This helps ensure portability of your relative imports, configuration files, and more. Note that your environment dependencies (for example, external Python packages) still need to be managed separately.
If no storage is explicitly configured, Prefect will use
LocalFileSystem storage by default. Local storage works fine for many local flow run scenarios, especially when testing and getting started. However, due to the inherent lack of portability, many use cases are better served by using remote storage such as S3 or Google Cloud Storage.
Prefect 2 supports creating multiple storage configurations and switching between storage as needed.
Storage uses blocks
Blocks is the Prefect technology underlying storage, and enables you to do so much more.
In addition to creating storage blocks via the Prefect CLI, you can now create storage blocks and other kinds of block configuration objects via the Prefect UI and Prefect Cloud.
Configuring storage for a deployment¶
When building a deployment for a workflow, you have two options for configuring workflow storage:
- Use the default local storage
- Preconfigure a storage block to use
Using the default¶
Anytime you call
prefect deployment build without providing the
--storage-block flag, a default
LocalFileSystem block will be used. Note that this block will always use your present working directory as its basepath (which is usually desirable). You can see the block's settings by inspecting the
deployment.yaml file that Prefect creates after calling
prefect deployment build.
While you generally can't run a deployment stored on a local file system on other machines, any agent running on the same machine will be able to successfully run your deployment.
Supported storage blocks¶
Current options for deployment storage blocks include:
|Local File System||Store data in a run's local file system.|
|Remote File System||Store data in a any filesystem supported by
|AWS S3 Storage||Store data in an AWS S3 bucket.||
|Azure Storage||Store data in Azure Datalake and Azure Blob Storage.||
|GitHub Storage||Store data in a GitHub repository.|
|Google Cloud Storage||Store data in a Google Cloud Platform (GCP) Cloud Storage bucket.||
|SMB||Store data in SMB shared network storage.||
Accessing files may require storage filesystem libraries
Note that the appropriate filesystem library supporting the storage location must be installed prior to building a deployment with a storage block or accessing the storage location from flow scripts.
For example, the AWS S3 Storage block requires the
See Filesystem package dependencies for more information about configuring filesystem libraries in your execution environment.
Configuring a block¶
You can create these blocks either via the UI or via Python.
You can create, edit, and manage storage blocks in the Prefect UI and Prefect Cloud. On a Prefect Orion server, blocks are created in the server's database. On Prefect Cloud, blocks are created on a workspace.
To create a new block, select the + button. Prefect displays a library of block types you can configure to create blocks to be used by your flows.
Select Add + to configure a new storage block based on a specific block type. Prefect displays a Create page that enables specifying storage settings.
You can also create blocks using the Prefect Python API:
from prefect.filesystems import S3 block = S3(bucket_path="my-bucket/a-sub-directory", aws_access_key_id="foo", aws_secret_access_key="bar" ) block.save("example-block")
This block configuration is now available to be used by anyone with appropriate access to your Prefect API. We can use this block to build a deployment by passing its slug to the
prefect deployment build command. The storage block slug is formatted as
block-type/block-name. In this case,
s3/example-block for an AWS S3 Bucket block named
example-block. See block identifiers for details.
prefect deployment build ./flows/my_flow.py:my_flow --name "Example Deployment" --storage-block s3/example-block
This command will upload the contents of your flow's directory to the designated storage location, then the full deployment specification will be persisted to a newly created
deployment.yaml file. For more information, see Deployments.