How to share hba adapters with several VM's

Posted on 2009-02-12
Last Modified: 2013-11-14
I have a Poweredge 2950 that host Vmware esxi. I have no NaS or SAn , only local disk. I have two vm's on local disk. i use an HBA Emulex adapter LP9802 for connect the Host to our Dell ML600 robotic library. I have configure scsi device such as Medium changer  and tape drive in ESXI for both VM's. The conflict is when i have one of the VM running, i cannot open the second one. I receive en error for the scsi devices  UNABLE TO Open SCSI DEVICE.
So i think there is an issue with the sharing of the scsi device. How can i fix it?  How can i use the same HBA adapter for multiple VM's on the same Host?  Thanks
Question by:pierrech
    LVL 21

    Accepted Solution

    You can't do this. VMWare doesn't allow you to share attached SCSI devices between VM's.
    See this thread for more informtation:;jsessionid=B45B58565007056E9F228959432625DD
    I'm on a VMWare course at the moment, so will ask the teacher to see what he says.
    LVL 55

    Expert Comment

    You could probably script it so one had the tape drive for a while and then it released it and another got it but isn't it easier to just use normal network agents over the virtual LAN and have one host doing the backup?
    LVL 21

    Expert Comment

    I've been told that if you had two robotic arms in the library, you could use 1 per VM to achieve what you want. Hope this helps!

    Author Comment

    The thread refering by za mkh is typically the same problem i have.
    the way to  script  to hold a tape and release it after a delay cannot help me since i cannot anywasr starts the second vm's...
    I tried to assign in ESX Configuration  just one tape drive in the library to a vm and the second one to the other vm...same behavior occured.
    I cannot use network agent too, becausr the transfer rate is VERy too slow.
    If i cannot shared Robotic library using HBA fiber with multiple vm's on the same Host, i will need the confirmation by a Vmware white aper or something like that,, unless that i will continue to investigate to find a way to do the trick....

    Author Comment

    Andyalder i will try to make a test with bAckup with network  agent over Virtual lAn. I have experinced it last 2 months with VMWare Server and the transfer rate was too por.  maybe it wuill different with ESX 3i.... I will make a try.... give you result  at the end of day or soon next week

    Author Comment

    Did someone know NPIV capabilities enable with ESX... I know it is a protocol for managing the interact of lun over a san with hba... Can i use this option for resolve my issue ???
    I do not find any solutions.
    The only way i have for now is to take 80% of my Fiber architecture in garbage and use Backup to disk to tape  with an Gigabyte swith infrastructure......
    I really have to find the solution.
    Any input????

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