Not many customers realize that the type of storage used by your hosting package can have a significant effect on your user’s perceived speed and responsiveness. At polur.net, we extensively use NVMe SSD storage technology for many of our hosting packages. You may be wondering why does this matter and how will it impact my website?
In this article, we'll briefly explore the difference between various storage technologies and how they can impact the overall performance and responsiveness of your website.
What is NVMe technology?
NVMe stands for Non-Volatile Memory express. It is a newer and innovative communication interface that addresses limitations posed by previous storage technologies. The NVMe protocol is designed for seamless use of high-speed storage media. It too is solid state like SATA (Serial ATA) SSDs, however the speed and performance is anything but similar.
To break it down, NVM (Non-volatile memory) is memory that can retain its stored data even if the system’s power gets cut. On the other hand, volatile memory loses stored data when there is no power. SSDs, spinning disks, and other disk storage drives are all examples of non-volatile memory. Keeping that in mind, NVMe technology uses non-volatile memory to retain your data, even if the power is lost.
NVMe also uses a newer interface to communicate with the CPU and operating system – PCI express, or PCIe. This is a much faster interface than SATA or SAS. This new interface can communicate directly with the CPU, allowing for much higher bandwith (and therefore greater speeds), as well as lower response times.
What is SSD?
SSD (Solid State Drives) is hardware that uses solid-state storage technology to store data using flash memory. There are several types of flash storage, however NAND storage is the most common.
We know SSDs deliver significantly faster read/write speeds than traditional HDDs (Hard Disk Drives). However, SSDs also have some limitations when it comes to maximum speed for storage protocols.
SSDs generally operate under the SATA and SAS interfaces, which hinder the performance of faster drives. Originally, the SATA interface was designed for HDDs and was also widely used for early SSDs to better support backwards compatibility. But as time passed, SATA posed limitations to the SSDs abilities.
What is HDD?
Traditional hard disk drives (HDD) are well-known as they have been around for over 50 years. HDDs rely on spinning disks, or platters, to read and write data which makes them physically limited to how fast they can perform read and write operations. Hard drives are generally only used in budget systems or big data backup solutions where using hard drives is more cost effective. Typically, most budget hosting providers or hosting providers that seemingly offer "unlimited" storage will usually offer hosting that is based on hard disk drives exclusively. Hard drives also fail more frequently than SSDs or NVMe SSDs, so this is a huge factor when choosing the right hosting provider.
How Storage Impacts Web Hosting
There are many direct benefits when you compare NVMe with SSD and traditional hard drives as it relates to web hosting. The main highlights are:
In computer-speak, more input/output operations means higher performance of reading and writing of data. NVMe delivers up to 60X better IOPs performance and around 6X faster data transfer speeds compared to SSDs and hard drives.
High Queue Command Depth
The greater the queue depth, the more requests for reading/writing can be queued up to be performed, allowing for better system responsiveness. NVMe drives use various queuing processes, whereas the SATA SSDs can only look after one command at a time with 32 queue command depth.
By making use of its low-power mode to considerably reduce the power consumption, NVMe drives are more environmentally-friendly compared to SSDs or traditional hard drives.
- Reduce Server Bottlenecks
Customers that are hosted on servers using traditional hard drives and even SSDs are likely to experience bottlenecks due to too many user connections or requests at a time, saturating the server's storage connection. This further leads to slower access to data, slower loading time of web pages and and a degraded user experience. NVMe servers address this problem with their high queuing abilities and faster read/write speeds.
While most hosting providers still use older storage technologies such as hard drives (HDDs) and solid state drives (SSDs) to save costs, it is clear that NVMe storage is far better than any other storage technology when it comes to improved server performance and faster responsiveness of your website or applications. While this may cost more from the provider level, it can directly have a positive impact on your experience as a hosting customer. NVMe's features are highly capable of handling resource-intensive projects without causing any lags or slow loading times, resulting in both happy customers and end-users visiting your website.
To truly experience how NVMe storage can impact your website, we invite you to signup for one of polur.net's NVMe-powered hosting packages today - we guarantee you'll experience the difference!