Seagate IronWolf 510 SSD, hands on: An enterprise-class cache to speed up your NAS Review


The IronWolf 510 is intended to act as an SSD cache in HDD-outfitted NAS bins.

Image: Seagate

When you want to pack a NAS machine with storage, hard drives are however the finest choice for ability. And if you want to raise performance for multiple consumers accessing the very same network storage at the same time, without the need of lessening ability by offering up any travel bays, the most recent NAS bins have an M.two slot to accommodate an SSD. If you happen to be employing Home windows Server Storage Areas Immediate, it will instantly set up any NVMe travel as the create cache. 

Seagate’s new IronWolf 510 is an NVMe SSD exclusively intended for this reason, with dynamic overprovisioning for endurance and data protection, 256-bit AES encryption, a controller with capacitors to give the travel additional time to create data if there is a electricity reduction, and a large DRAM cache — 2GB on the 1.92TB product we examined. With a person entire travel create per day and a five-yr warranty, the IronWolf 510 should have about three periods the endurance of a typical desktop NVMe travel. 


With 1GiB check information, the IronWolf 510 delivers the advertised performance degree for sequential reads and writes.

Image: Mary Branscombe / ZDNet

Screening with CrystalDiskMark using 1GiB files came near to the promised 3GB/s examine and 1GB/s create speeds on extended sequential operations (as you would be expecting with the size of the DRAM cache), which is a lot more than enough performance to cache a NAS entire of hard drives: in truth, it could preserve up with an all-flash NAS employing SSDs as these develop into a lot more cost-effective, and the excellent endurance implies the IronWolf travel should be a little something you can transfer to a new procedure that you make investments in. 


With 1GiB information, the Intel Optane SSD conquer the IronWolf’s create velocity, but could not match the Seagate SSD’s examine velocity backed by its 2GB DRAM cache. At the time the check information are too large for the IronWolf DRAM cache (8GiB), examine performance drops but create velocity retains up well.

Data & chart: Mary Branscombe / ZDNet

But serious-earth performance will most likely be diverse, specially for much larger information or these not in the DRAM cache. When we examined with an 8GiB file, sequential writes remained all over 1GB/s, sustaining performance better than the Intel Optane SSD (examined as an NVMe travel) that we utilised for comparison, but the examine velocity dropped significantly for sequential data. With numerous smaller random reads or writes, storage performance is generally considerably a lot less effective: the IronWolf 510’s create performance was a match for Optane, but examine performance was just more than 50 % that of Optane. 

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Because it’s intended for caching, the IronWolf is not going to be as helpful in other scenarios. Screening it as a boot travel in an Intel NUC file server accessed by multiple consumers and equipment on the network didn’t do the job well, for case in point. Nevertheless, that was due to a firmware bug in the NUC motherboard that induced it to refuse to boot with an NVMe travel it measured as slow, rather than any problems with the travel itself. 

Major ZDNET Opinions

At £459/$519.ninety nine, the one.92TB product is just not low cost though (there are a lot more cost-effective 240GB, 480GB and 960GB selections and it’s absolutely more cost-effective than the M.two SSDs Synology gives for caching). If you look at it to a consumer SSD you might believe the create velocity is on the lower side, but which is not what it’s intended for. 

This is really exclusively a way to get better performance out of a NAS that you have bought maxed out on ability to serve multiple consumers who are complaining that they want more quickly access, specially to a lot of information stored in the very same folder. Profile your network storage to start with: it’s not most likely to make any big difference on other NAS responsibilities like rebuilding the array, but if this form of cache will make improvements to efficiency, the high cost tag will be value it. 

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