It recently came to our attention that we had overlooked a rather critical addition Seagate’s Guardian Series of solid state drive models. Yes, while we had indeed gone over the Barra/Fire-Cuda 510 and 520 model(s), and even the SATA based IronWolf variants, yet we had somehow missed the IronWolf 510 series. With the help of Seagate, and special shout out to Connor and Emma for your above and beyond help, we can correct this oversight and allow us to answer definitively all those questions you have been sending us. Specifically, we will be putting the large 1.92TB capacity version of the IronWolf 510 to the test.
On the surface, an online asking price of $440(USD) or 22.92 cents per GB does seem like a bit of a non-starter for many. After all, when one can easily pick up a FireCuda 510 2TB for a cool seventy dollars less ($350 or 17.5cents per GB), or even a PCIe 4.0 based FireCuda 520 2TB for about the same ($430 or 21.5cents per GB) as the IronWolf 510 1.92TB’er…. the IronWolf 510 seems like a wee bit of a hard sell to say the least. This actually was the gist of many an email sent to us from buyers who typically buy IronWolf hard disk drive models over their BarraCuda counterparts and were wondering if the same was true of Seagate’s NVMe versions.
As we stated in our answers, the reality is the IronWolf 510 series is not like its Hard Disk Drive based Lupus Ferro siblings. This model is an unabashedly laser like focus drive that is meant to satisfy the needs of very specific buyers interested in a solution to a very specific storage related problem. Specifically it has been designed with providing caching abilities for Network Attached Storage servers that are running on 10Gbe or faster networks and are being hammered hard enough and long enough that an ultra-fast, ultra-durable NVMe based caching solution makes the most sense.
Such a nightmare scenario is about as far away from the typical home user environment as one can imagine. It is even so far away from the typical NAS storage specifications that numerous underlying tweaks to the Guardian 510 Series had to be made to create a good solution that can withstand the insane demands that will be placed upon it. In this article we will go over precisely what Seagate’s engineers had to change in order to provide a tailor-made solution… and in the process it will become rather abundantly clear who should and should not be seriously looking at this Master of NAS cache.