PCIe 3.0 M.2 NVMe SSDs for NAS systems

The red series of Western Digital drives for network storage systems has a significant share in different segments of the NAS. The series began with a focus on hard drives, and recently WD Red SSDs were introduced in the fourth quarter of 2019, a few years after the acquisition of SanDisk. These SATA SSDs (both in 2.5 “and M.2 format) were based on Marvell 88SS1074 controllers and targeted caching applications.

The growing popularity of multi-layer storage, along with the implementation of NVMe (in the form of additional cards, and now, originally on NAS boards), prompted Western Digital to create a new member in the WD Red family. The new WD Red SN700 comes in 5 capacities ranging from 250 GB to 4 TB.

WD Red SN700 NVMe SSDs for NAS
Capacity 250 GB 500 GB 1 TB 2 TB 4 TB
Model number WDS250G1R0C WDS500G1R0C WDS100T1R0C WDS200T1R0C WDS400T1R0C
Controller SanDisk In-House?
Form factor
M.2-2280, PCIe 3.0 x4, NVMe 1.3
(22.15 mm x 80.15 mm x 2.38 mm)
(22.15 mm x 80.15 mm x 3.58 mm)
Seq. Max
(128KB @ QD32)
3100 MBps 3430 MBps 3400 MBps
Seq. Write max
(128KB @ QD32)
1600 MBps 2600 MBps 3000 MBps 2900 MBps 3100 MBps
Rand. Read IOPS
(4KB @ QD32)
220K 420K 515K 480K 550K
Rand. Write IOPS
(4KB @ QD32)
180K 380K 560K 540K 520K
SLC caching Yes
DRAM buffer ?? ?? ?? ?? ??
Opal Encryption ??
Power Peak 9.24 W
PS3 (LP) 70 mW 100 mW
PS4 (sleep) 3.5 mW 5 mW
Guarantee 5 years
MTBF 1.75 million hours
TBW 500 1000 2000 2500 5100
DWPD 1 0.7
Addl. Info. Connection
IFRS $ 65 $ 80 $ 145 $ 290 $ 650

The PCIe 3.0 x4 NVMe drive can provide a quantum leap in I / O performance, especially compared to pure HDD systems. NAS units are fast becoming hyperconverged application servers, and NVMe drives can enhance the user experience with storage tasks as well as applications. In particular, workload-related tasks such as virtualization, shared editing for multiple users, and other similar applications. The benefits of traditional business workloads, such as intensive databases, are also evident, even when the NVMe drive is used solely as a cache drive. Interestingly, models of 1 TB and lower capacity have a rating of 1 DWPD, while models of 2 TB and 4 TB have a durability number of 0.7 DWPD.

It should be noted that Seagate has already released two generations of NVMe drives for the NAS market in its IronWolf series. WD plays a bit of a catch in this market segment, but its SanDisk legacy and vertical integration can give the WD Red SN700 an advantage over the IronWolf series.

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Naveen Kumar

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