We have more and more computers on our home network. Traditionally we only had computers, smartphones and tablets connected to the Internet. In recent years things have changed a lot and we also have Smart TVs, home automation devices, video surveillance cameras and more. Recently, NAS servers have begun to be introduced in some homes. Its fundamental function is storage, but we can also use it as a server, to make P2P downloads, as a private cloud and more. At first only mechanical disks were used but now they also allow SSDs. In this article, we explain why your QNAP home NAS should have SSD cache.
Every time we find more models of NAS that can use SSD as cache memory to increase read and write performance. If we compare it with a traditional mechanical hard drive, the thing is clear and in terms of speed, SSDs obtain better performance, especially when we are reading or writing non-sequentially. In addition, when it comes to high workloads with many read and write requests on a mechanical disk, the platters must rotate and the heads must search for scattered data on the disk that does not always have the information stored contiguously. For that reason, having your QNAP home NAS with SSD cache can make a big difference.
What is SSD cache and how does it work?
Refering to SSD cache we refer to a temporary storage space for data that is frequently accessed, in this specific case it would be using an SSD, either a SATA3 type SSD (in 2.5” or M.2 format) or an SSD type M.2 NVMe. Thus the system benefits from the low latency of SSDs to respond to read and write requests faster. In this aspect, some QNAP NAS for home offer us the opportunity to create an SSD cache that is used so that we can create a read and write buffer that will allow us to improve random access performance.
Regarding the operating systems of the NAS servers, they allow the use of SSD cache to any SSD drive that we mount on a NAS server. However, in the event that this NAS only has two disk bays, if we use one bay to install that SSD and use it as an SSD cache, then we will only have one additional bay left for storage, something that would not be highly recommended. .
For this reason, we already find domestic NAS servers with 2 bays for hard drives that also incorporate M.2 slots to install SSD drives and thus we would not lose storage bays. For example, they can incorporate two M.2 slots for the installation of M.2-type SSDs where we could install an SSD cache.
SSD cache in QNAP home NAS
Some QNAP home NAS servers will allow us to put an SSD cache on it. In this aspect, QNAP proposes us to create a hybrid storage structure with SSD/HDD and maximize the advantages of optimized storage costs and data efficiency.
An SSD cache is going to help us get faster storage, lower latency, and higher access speeds. If we have a QNAP NAS for home with SSD cache, it will greatly benefit applications that demand IOPS, such as databases, email servers, and virtual machines. This is a schematic and a link to how the QNAP SSD cache works and the models that support it.
As for the QNAP SSD cache for home, we can have read only or read and write simultaneously. If we want it to have read/write cache we will need it to have QNAP’s QTS or QuTS Hero operating system. As for QTS, it also supports Qtier technology that automatically moves data between SSDs and HDDs based on access frequency. This will ensure that access to the most frequently used data is given priority. Finally, here are some tips if you are interested in buying a NAS for home.