When it comes to storage, most people only think about SSD vs HDD. SSDs are fast, HDDs are slow. And web hosting that promises the former over the latter is better. And that’s it. However, more recent technology updates have improved the performance of SSDs – and the technology to watch is NVMe drives. It stands for “Non-Volatile Memory Express”, and it’s a specification for accessing SSD drives over the PCI interface instead of SATA. NameHero is one of the few companies to offer NVMe enabled storage on its higher-tier plans. Here’s how this helps your website load faster.
Database Queries for Dynamic Sites Require Fast Retrieval
Most websites these days are database-driven. Even trivial sites with a few pages are not static, but dynamic. This means that the pages are created from databases whenever a new visitor sees them. To mitigate the resource cost, we use all kinds of caching techniques. For example, NameHero’s LiteSpeed server includes advanced caching to ensure that your pages are served faster to your visitors.
However, this doesn’t help much if your site is inherently dynamic. Shopping sites are a great example of this. What the visitor sees depends on the current inventory available, the latest discounts, what they have in their cart, their login name, their purchase details, and more. All of this makes caching of such pages impossible, putting a great deal of strain on the database for large sites.
The biggest roadblock in the speed of generating these websites is the database itself. And the database speed depends upon how quickly a query can execute. That means two things: CPU power, and disk speed. As far as disk speeds go, HDD drives are a lot slower than SSD. But NVMe enabled SSD drives are a lot faster than traditional SSDs.
How Much Faster are NVMe Drives?
NVMe enabled SSD drives are much faster than ordinary SSD drives. Their latency is half that of ordinary SSDs, and they have an input/output speeds that are 10 times higher. Data transfer to and from the disk is as much as 25 times faster.
For this reason, NVMe drives are a far better choice for database heavy applications, including large sites with a lot of e-commerce, or any other kind of dynamic content. The reason for this increased speed is the usage of the PCI interface for SSDs instead of the SATA/AHCI one which most SSDs use today. This is more similar to the way computer components like graphics cards connect. NVMe is simply updating the protocols to allow storage units to connect in the same way.
Why Don’t All Web Hosts Offer NVMe Drives?
Simple answer – because they’re expensive. They’re still a relatively new technology compared to SSD SATA, and so there’s still not a lot of demand. This means that web hosts offering NVMe drives might have to take a cut of their profits. Even NameHero, which is usually first in line when it comes to implementing new features, only offers NVMe drives on the “Turbo” and “Business” Cloud offerings.
In any case, the real benefits of NVMe will be seen for larger websites, which will most likely be using the higher-tier plans anyway. So it all fits together nicely.
Even the so-called “well-known” big names in web hosting don’t regularly offer NVMe drives the way NameHero does. They probably feel that not enough people know about it for them to take on the additional cost of NVMe hosting. And they’re right! If all you care about is the bottom line, then offering NVMe drives probably isn’t smart. And yet we at NameHero are providing access to this incredibly useful technology well in advance of the industry.
I’m a NameHero team member, and an expert on WordPress and web hosting. I’ve been in this industry since 2008. I’ve also developed apps on Android and have written extensive tutorials on managing Linux servers. You can contact me on my website WP-Tweaks.com!