Cache Remote or Default

I've been told here that while my dedicated server's resources are significant that I should use rclone defaults to mount my drive directly rather than the [cache] way.
My findings however have been that playing movies and scanning plex have been much better mounting with a cache.
I wonder why that is and the community's thoughts on that.

Best bet would be to use what works best in your situation / use case.

Just because something works great for me, it may not work for you.

Cache is another layer between you and Google so it adds overhead.

My setup is primarily direct playing so no use for cache at all. If you have players that open and close, you'll find better use of the cache.

Music in Plex works better in the cache because it's a lot of small files opening and closing a lot.

There is no "best way" to do everything. It depends on your setup and use-cases.

The benefits of cache is that it caches recently accessed files so you don't have to re-download. It also does a much better job as far as I can tell in streaming media smoothy (I can't get the VFS cache to do smooth streaming with any settings, but maybe that's something windows specific as I think Animosity has said it works for him). Thirdly it also caches the directory structure and file attributes - potentially greatly speeding up syncs on large groups of files as well as making navigation on the remote much snappier. Especially if you use a large timeout on that info (which is safe as long as you only change files via that cache).

The downside is that it adds complexity in the setup. More potential points of failures, more room to discover bugs and problems, and more stuff to read and understand before you can expect to use it well. It also adds the need to do more local copying if you want to also use the mount, which may be relevant for limited drive resources or wear on SSDs. Finally, for the ability to stream media well (and open the files reasonably fast) you will need chunks that aren't too big for your bandwidth, and smaller chunks do make your overall bandwidth utilization (on downloads) a little less efficient. Not very much if you tune the chunk size appropriately, but that's basically the price of being able to do streaming from cloud.

oh, and while it's not a "downside" per se. a cache is only as useful as it's size (at least in terms of it's ability to remove the need to re-download recently accessed files). If you use a cache you will have to dedicate some space to it. Exactly how much space you "need" is very much dependent on your use-cases.

Personally I use the cache as I want cached retention of recently accessed files. It's also the only way I have been able to get media streaming working. For me that's easily worth the fairly minor downsides - but your use-case may not be the same as mine. If you didn't need those 2 things then a cache wouldn't be needed, and you might as well go with the less complex and slightly more efficient direct-mount.

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