Is there a NAS with SSD drives?

Yes, there are definitely NAS (network-attached storage) devices that utilize SSD (solid-state drive) storage rather than traditional HDD (hard disk drive) storage. SSDs provide faster read/write speeds, lower latency, and better overall performance compared to HDDs. However, SSDs are typically more expensive per gigabyte than HDDs. So NAS devices that use SSD storage tend to be more expensive than HDD-based models.

Quick Answer

The quick answer is yes, there are consumer and enterprise-level NAS devices available that support all SSD configurations. Some examples include:

  • Synology DS620Slim
  • QNAP TS-h1290FU
  • Asustor AS3302T
  • TerraMaster F2-422
  • WD My Cloud EX2 Ultra

These NAS units allow installing SSDs in all the drive bays for improved performance over traditional hard drive-based NAS. However, SSD NAS storage does come at a premium cost per gigabyte compared to HDD NAS.

Benefits of SSD Storage in NAS

There are several key benefits to using all SSD storage in a NAS compared to traditional HDD configurations:

Faster Load Times

SSDs provide much faster data access and load times for applications and files stored on the NAS. This is because SSDs access data electronically with no moving parts, while HDDs rely on physically rotating mechanical platters and read/write heads.

Lower Latency

The typical latency on SSDs is 0.1-0.2 ms, while HDD latency is in the 2-10 ms range. This lower latency results in much quicker response times when accessing files, running applications, and transferring data to/from the NAS.

Increased IOPS

SSDs deliver orders of magnitude higher input/output operations per second (IOPS) versus HDDs. More IOPS means the NAS can handle many more simultaneous transactions and requests without slowing down.

Faster File Transfers

The combination of faster access times, lower latency, and higher IOPS adds up to superior file transfer speeds compared to HDD-based NAS. Moving files to and from the NAS over the network will be noticeably quicker.

Improved Multitasking

The performance advantages of all-flash NAS configurations lead to better multitasking capabilities as well. The NAS can handle multiple data-intensive operations happening in parallel without lag or queue buildup.

Higher Throughput

SSD-based NAS can achieve much higher throughput rates for both sequential and random data workloads. This results in faster streaming/accessing of high-bandwidth media files stored on the NAS.

Better Responsiveness

Applications and services running on a flash NAS tend to be much more responsive to user requests and actions. There is less waiting around for processes to complete.

More Consistent Performance

Unlike HDDs, SSD performance does not vary significantly between random and sequential workloads. You get reliably fast performance regardless of access patterns.

Use Cases for All SSD NAS

Here are some of the most common use case examples where choosing an all SSD NAS makes sense:

Video Editing Workflows

The ability to stream high-bitrate video footage quickly and smoothly makes SSD NAS ideal for video production workflows. Editors can work with 4K/8K RAW footage in real-time.


Running virtual machines (VMs) with their virtual hard disks stored on flash NAS can provide major performance advantages. Boot storms are handled easily.

Database Servers

Database performance depends heavily on storage speeds. All SSD NAS delivers the IOPS, low latency, and fast access times needed for demanding database workloads.

Application Development

Software developers benefit from the ability to rapidly read/write/build/deploy applications from a central, high-speed NAS location accessible to the dev team.

Caching and Tiering

Using all SSD NAS as a high-performance cache or storage tier in front of HDD-based data repositories can boost overall system efficiency.

Big Data Analytics

Processing and analyzing large datasets benefits from the parallel access and throughput capabilities of SSD arrays in NAS appliances.

Critical Applications

For business applications requiring consistently fast performance and the highest availability, all flash NAS minimizes latency and downtime risks.

Small/Medium Businesses

SMBs can gain enterprise-class responsiveness by using SSD-based NAS solutions without needing advanced storage skills.

Top SSD NAS Options

Here is an overview of some of the top all SSD NAS systems currently available from both mainstream and enterprise-focused vendors:

Synology DS620slim

– Compact 1U rackmount chassis
– Supports up to 6 SSD drives
– Up to 32 GB DDR4 RAM
– Quad-core Intel Celeron processor
– 2 x 1GbE LAN ports
– 2 x USB 3.2 Gen 1 ports
– Scalable up to 20 drives with expansion unit
– Btrfs advanced file system
– Synology DSM NAS operating system


– High-end 3U rackmount chassis
– Supports 12 SSDs for storage
– 2 x M.2 SSD slots for caching
– Up to 512 GB DDR4 ECC RAM
– AMD EPYC 8-core processor
– 4 x 25GbE (SFP28) LAN ports
– 2 x 10GbE SFP+ LAN ports
– 3 x PCIe Gen4 slots for expansion
– ZFS-based QuTS hero OS

Asustor AS3302T

– Tower form factor
– Supports up to 3 SSDs internally
– 4 GB DDR4 RAM (expandable)
– Intel Celeron quad-core 1.5Ghz CPU
– 2 x 2.5Gbit RJ45 LAN ports
– 3 x USB 3.2 Gen 1 ports
– 1 x PCIe Gen3 x4 expansion slot
– ADM OS with support for Docker apps

TerraMaster F2-422

– 2-bay desktop NAS
– Dual SATA M.2 2280 SSD slots
– Up to 8 GB DDR4 non-ECC RAM
– Annapurna Labs AL21400 quad-core 1.4Ghz
– 2 x Gigabit RJ45 LAN ports
– 2 x USB 3.1 Gen1 ports
– TOS operating system
– Hardware encryption engine

WD My Cloud EX2 Ultra

– Compact desktop NAS
– 2 x SATA SSD bays
– Up to 4 GB DDR3 RAM
– Marvell Armada 388 1.6GHz dual-core CPU
– 1 x Gigabit RJ45 LAN port
– 2 x USB 3.0 ports
– RAID 0/1, JBOD support
– Automatic backup software
– Remote access capabilities

SSD Choices for NAS

NAS devices provide multiple drive bays that can be populated with different types of SSDs:


The most common type of SSD used in NAS is the standard 2.5-inch SATA III SSD. These connect via SATA cables to the NAS motherboard. Entry-level SATA SSDs offer good bang for buck.


Many NAS support M.2 form factor SSDs that connect directly to PCIe lanes on the motherboard via an M.2 slot. NVMe SSDs offer excellent performance.


Some high-end NAS support hot-swappable U.2 bays for NVMe SSDs. U.2 uses a 2.5-inch drive form factor for NVMe rather than M.2 card.


3D TLC NAND is ideal for NAS use due to its performance, endurance, and capacity. NAS vendors often use proprietary 3D TLC NAND SSDs fine-tuned for 24/7 operation.


SSDs use different NAND flash memory cell technologies – SLC, MLC, TLC, and QLC, with tradeoffs in cost, endurance, and density. Most NAS vendors select TLC NAND SSDs.

SSD Cache vs. Storage Pool

In a NAS device, SSDs are used in two different ways – as a cache or integrated into the main storage pool:

SSD Cache

– Smaller SSDs used separately from capacity pool
– Cache frequently accessed “hot” data
– Speed up common workloads
– Improve responsiveness
– Requires less flash storage

SSD Storage Pool

– SSD capacity directly integrated into the pool
– Entire workload benefits from flash performance
– Simple setup and management
– More expensive – need large SSDs
– Provide primary storage capacity

NAS that only have a separate SSD cache still rely on HDDs for main storage capacity. NAS with all SSD bays allow creating a high-speed all-flash pool.

What to Look for in SSD NAS?

Key factors to consider when choosing an all SSD NAS:

RAID Support

The ability to configure SSDs in RAID 0, 1, 5, 6, and 10 is ideal for both performance and protection against drive failure.

Drive Bays

More drive bays allow adding higher capacity SSDs. Bays that support flash-optimized U.2 NVMe and M.2 provide best performance potential.

Processing Power

Look for multi-core Intel, AMD, or ARM-based CPUs with speeds of at least 2.0 GHz+. More cores enable handling multiple workloads.


At least 4GB+ of RAM is recommended for caching files and running applications on the NAS. 8GB+ is ideal for advanced workloads.

Network Connectivity

Look for 2.5Gbit, 5Gbit, 10Gbit, or faster Ethernet ports to take advantage of SSD speeds over the network. Link aggregation can also help increase bandwidth.

Expansion Potential

Some NAS allow connecting external expansion shelves to scale up capacity. This allows starting small and expanding SSD storage over time.

Setting up All SSD NAS

Here are some tips for setting up a new NAS with all flash storage:

RAID Configuration

A RAID level like RAID 10 provides the best balance of capacity and performance for SSD pools. RAID 6 offers redundancy with more available storage.

Storage Optimization

Enable SSD overprovisioning to extend endurance. Trim support helps maintain performance. Disable hibernation file creation and indexing which are unnecessary on SSDs.

Caching Settings

If using an SSD cache, set policies to cache active databases, shares, or specific file types that need maximum performance.

Network Team/Trunking

Configure NIC teaming/link aggregation if supported to increase available network bandwidth to the NAS SSD pool.

Memory Allocation

Allocate sufficient RAM to cache active data and feed the multi-core CPUs. This avoids storage bottlenecks and fills the network pipe.

Flash-Friendly File System

Opt for a modern file system like ZFS or Btrfs rather than legacy file systems. They provide optimization and advanced features for SSD storage.

Comparing HDD and SSD NAS Performance

Here is a comparison of typical performance differences between traditional hard disk drive (HDD) based NAS and all SSD NAS:

Specification HDD NAS SSD NAS
Sequential Read Speed 150 MB/s 550 MB/s
Sequential Write Speed 150 MB/s 520 MB/s
Random Read Speed 0.7 ms (latency) 0.15 ms (latency)
Random Write Speed 1.25 ms (latency) 0.15 ms (latency)
IOPS (4K random) 300 150,000

As you can see, SSD NAS provides 3x-4x faster sequential speeds, 10x lower read/write latency, and up to 500x more IOPS compared to typical HDD NAS. The exact multiplier depends on the specific SSD and HDD models used. But in all cases, SSD NAS delivers vastly superior performance across the board.


NAS appliances that utilize all flash SSD storage can deliver game-changing performance improvements for home users and businesses compared to traditional hard drive-based NAS. While SSD NAS has a higher upfront cost, the investment pays off for those who need fast and responsive shared storage for demanding workloads like video editing, virtualization, databases, development, analytics and more.

With a wide range of consumer and enterprise SSD NAS now available from vendors like QNAP, Synology, TerraMaster and Asustor, there are all-flash network storage options for budgets ranging from a few hundred dollars up to tens of thousands. For use cases that require moving and accessing lots of data, SSD NAS unlocks performance not possible with mechanical hard drives alone.