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HGST FlashMAX II 2.2TB Enterprise PCIe SSD Review

By: Paul Alcorn | PCIe SSDs in IT/Datacenter | Posted: Jul 29, 2014 5:50 pm
TweakTown Rating: 93%Manufacturer: HGST

FlashMAX II Manager




The HGST FlashMAX II Manager is a proprietary GUI application, automatically installed during device installation, which configures and monitors the device. The home pane provides system information and an easy-to-understand dashboard that displays system status at a glance. This displays remaining life, temperature, and drive status for each FlashMAX II in the server.




More in-depth information for each device is contained in the drive management pane. Users can perform multiple functions, such as modifying and resetting the device configuration. The FlashMAX II lets the user select Performance or Capacity modes to tune the level of overprovisioning and performance to their requirements. Performance mode will also provide more endurance due to increased overprovisioning, but Virident does not list the amount of extra endurance offered. The lifetime monitor allows users to monitor the remaining write endurance of the device.


The beacon button activates a light on the rear of the device to determine location in a rack environment. The 'additional information' area will alert users to dynamic throttling due to high temperature or crossing power thresholds. Reduced performance alleviates overheating when the drive reaches 78C, and the drive shuts down at 85C. The FlashMAX II throttles if it crosses a power consumption threshold of 24W for smaller capacities, and 26W for the 4,800GB variant. There is an option to disable power throttling by selecting the turbo mode.


The device can appear as one or two volumes if it is a large capacity variant (two PCBs). If one volume is selected the FlashMAX II automatically controls the RAID configuration and presents both devices as one logical drive to the operating system. This is an advantage over some PCIe SSDs, which require external RAID programs to unify multiple volumes.




The Performance tab monitors the read/write bandwidth and IOPS for each device in real-time. There are several CLI utilities, such as vgc-beacon, vgc-config, and vgc-monitor. These provide CLI monitoring and configuration of many of the same features as the GUI.


One utility that stands out is vcg-secure-erase.exe. This Secure Erase utility provides two levels of sanitization to wipe the drive. The Clear and Purge options are compliant with DOD 5220.22-M and NIST SP800-99 sanitize erase specifications.


Finally, there is also the option to use the HGST Device Manager (HDM). This utility combines GUI and CLI components for detailed configuration, monitoring, reporting, and diagnostics of flash devices.

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