The storage device for your website's hosting is one of the essential factors that contribute to its eventual performance. For the most part of the time, the choice was between either HDD or SSD drives, but recently there has appeared a new option, presented by nvme vps hosting. What is NVMe and why and when it's more beneficial than its counterparts – that's what we are going to explore in today's article.
The types of storage
The invention of NVMe drives is preceded by a long history of storage devices' development, which led to the arising of HDD drives and later SSD drives, which are the two types of storage devices we have today.
HDD drives are an older technology that is in a way similar to compact disks or vinyl records: there is a rotating magnetic disk and a device (the head) that is used to read and write the information on this disk. This technology allows us to store big quantities of information and allowed us to create computers in their modern form. It is, however, not free from disadvantages, like slow speed, higher energy consumption, and lower durability which led to its being more and more often replaced by more advanced approaches to data storage, presented by SSD drives.
SSD drives are a newer approach to storing data. These devices are based on the same principle as the flash memory that you must have dealt with as a portable storage device. Instead of using a spinning disk like HDDs, SSDs use microchips to store data electronically. They consist of cells that store either positive or negative charges, saving data in the form of binary code.
The fact that instead of a moving disk there is rather a network of microchips allows you to access and transfer data much faster than on HDDs, which can be extremely beneficial for a bunch of advanced modern informational technologies. Combined with the fact that they are more durable and energy-efficient, has made them the major solution for storage on servers.
What is NVMe and how is it different from previous storage types?
Speaking about storage devices' level of performance and what it's determined by, it's the way its elements are interconnected, managed, and connected to the computing device that matters. In particular, the connection to the computing device is referred to as the interface and it plays an essential role, in determining the speed of data transfer and the latency of a storage device. By far we have had a bunch of interface specifications for SSD: SCSI, SATA, and SAS, each with its own features and specifics.
However, all these interfaces are still limited in speed, being originally developed for HDD drives, and this led to the realization of the need for some more advanced solution, specifically adapted for SSD drives, with lower latency and higher IOPS rate. With this in mind, a consortium of various companies engaging in the development of storage devices was gathered under the name of NVM Express Organization. These included such significant market players as Intel, Microsoft, Samsung, SanDisk, and Seagate, so they were indeed serious about it. It was decided to build a new interface using the PCIe connection, which is a newer and faster bus standard than the AHCI that was for the most part used formerly, and this led to the development of NVMe as we know it today.
How fast are NVMe drives?
In comparison to older standards, namely SATA and SAS, NVMe has reached many times higher speed rates. In particular, it can give you 32 GBs of data transfer, against a maximum of 6 GBs and 12 GBs on SATA and SAS respectively. Furthermore, it provides latency rates as low as 20-10 microseconds (µs), against 100 µs on both SATA and SAS, and over a million IOPs against 100,000 on SATA and 200,000-400,000 on SAS.
Why are NVMe drives so fast?
The NVMe drives are so fast because they have a simplified command set, so the CPU requires to produce half as many instructions to generate the same number of I/O requests compared to SATA and SAS. Also, NVMe has a more efficient queueing mechanism: while SATA and SAS support one I/O queue at a time, holding up to 32 and 256 outstanding commands respectively, NVMe copes with 65,535 containing 64,000 commands each.
When you might require NVMe?
Better performance usually means higher prices, and people usually don't tend to overpay for things that are unnecessary. There are cases where an SSD won't give better results than an HDD, as it all depends on the specificity of the project. So, here the question is: what kind of tasks does NVMe cope with significantly better than regular SSD?
The significantly higher increase in speed provided within NVMe makes it perfect for such tasks as:
- Intensive interactions in real-time that can take place in the finance or e-commerce sector;
- Projects that require intensive processing of big amounts of data, especially artificial intelligence, machine learning, and analytics;
- DevOps for the development of advanced software applications.
Unless you have excessive financial resources, you should think a bit before opting for NVMe VPS for your projects, analyzing their precise requirements, and whether the results can be increased by means of better storage performance. We hope that the ideas listed above have given you a better idea of what kind of project this can be.
NVMe is one of the newest storage standards that provide for record-breaking speeds of data processing. This makes them the optimal storage option in case storage-intensive operations are necessary for your projects. If this is what you deal with, then don't hesitate and go for lightning-speed NVMe drives today! Thank you for your attention!
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