WD Red SN700: NVMe SSDs are supposed to make lame NAS HDDs legs

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WD Red SN700: NVMe SSDs are supposed to make lame NAS HDDs legs

Image: Western Digital

As an addition to the NAS hard drives of the WD Red series including the SATA SSD SA500, WD is launching the Red SN700, the first NVMe drive for NAS. The M.2 SSD with storage capacities of 250 GB to 4 TB should serve as a fast intermediate storage (cache) in the NAS.

WD Red SN700 as a fast buffer

Compared to SSDs, all hard disks (HDDs) are considerably slower, especially in terms of access time. SSDs cost around five times as much per terabyte. In applications with high storage requirements, which also include network storage (NAS), hard drives are therefore still increasingly used. In order to nevertheless increase the performance of the HDD storage network and make data accessible more quickly, SSDs can be used as accelerators.

For this purpose, Western Digital provides the WD Red SN700, which is to be used individually as a read cache or multiple times as a read / write cache in the NAS. It does not address private solutions, but primarily small and medium-sized companies where several users access the mass storage device. Western Digital cites scenarios such as databases and virtualization as well as other demanding projects as application examples.

M.2 SSDs with PCIe 3.0 and high TBW

Transfer rates of over 3,000 MB / s or more than 500,000 IOPS help here. However, it is not about special SSD technology.

The SN700 series includes typical M.2 modules with a length of 80 mm that use PCIe 3.0 x4 as an interface. At the top, around 3,400 MB / s reading and 3,100 MB / s writing should be achieved. WD puts the IOPS at a maximum of 550,000 reading and 560,000 writing. As usual, performance will vary depending on the model and its memory capacity; the smallest version with 250 GB only manages 3,100 / 1,600 MB / s and 220K / 180K IOPS. Controller and 3D-TLC-NAND come from our own company.

WD Red SN700 SSD for NAS WD Red SN700 SSD for NAS (Image: Western Digital)

However, since the SSDs are also intended to serve as a write cache, the amount of writing that is set until the guarantee expires, the Total Bytes Written (TBW), is comparatively high. The 250 GB model already mentions 500 TB TBW, the largest model with 4 TB is specified with 5,100 TB TBW.

The WD Red SA500 has been in the same series for around two years and is significantly slower with a SATA connection. Seagate also already offers SATA and NVMe SSDs in the IronWolf series for NAS systems. ComputerBase tested the benefits of SSD caching in NAS with the Synology DS720 + in conjunction with two Seagate IronWolf 510 SSDs a year ago.

Prices and availability

The prices in the manufacturer’s shop range from $ 65 to $ 650. Availability should be given shortly.

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