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NVMe NAS Cache: Higher Speed or More Capacity?

By: Chris Ramseyer | USB Drives in Storage | Posted: Apr 19, 2019 3:00 pm

Server Workloads


Database Server










On this page, we move to server workloads with a 2TB data set. In the database test, we see the read and write configurations score better than the read-only and HDD only configurations. Even though the Optane configuration has nearly 1/10th the cache capacity, it outperforms the 960 Pro read and write configuration.



The read-only cache arrays accelerate performance over the HDD only arrays. The difference is muted compared to what two NVMe SSDs can provide in accelerating the workload.


OLTP Server









The OLTP workload shows nearly identical performance as the database test in relation to where the different arrays fall. The read and write cache arrays walk away from the read-only acceleration arrays and all acceleration is better than the HDD only array.


Email Server










The email workload uses larger block sizes, and that allows the 960 Pro's to take advantage of its throughput performance. On the steady-state chart, we see that even a single 960 Pro outperforms two Optane SSDs in a read and write acceleration configuration at high queue depths.


Archival File Server










The archival file server test is the least know server workload. Dell developed the test for use in the Dell Performance Lab. The workload mixes several block sizes making it a very difficult workload for performance consistency.


In this test, the read-only acceleration outperforms both the HDD only and read/write configurations.


Web Server










The web server results favor more cache space over higher speed cache. At the end of the preconditioning run, both the 960 Pro with 1TB of cache, and the Optane array with 120GB cache perform about the same. The ramp up is quite a bit different though.


In the workload chart where we increase the strain on the system through queue depth, we see the Optane read and write configuration outperforming the 960 Pro read and write configuration.

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