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Adding USB drive to physical server running ESXi

Posted on 2009-04-27
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Last Modified: 2012-05-06
We have a server running ESXi. We have an external USB hard drive that we want to connect to it. We want the Win2K3 VM to be able to see the USB drive and backup to it.

Are there any issues with this? I seem to remember looking into this a while back and seeing that ESX had problems with sharing USB devices with VM's.

If this is possible. How do I let the VM see the drive?

Thanks for your help.
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Question by:xy8088
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by:eyeinthesky4000
ID: 24243953
Hi,

if you have enabled SSH on your ESXi, the vmrun command might help. You can share a mountpoint from the host-system, like the mountpoint of your USB stick with the VM, e.g:
vmrun -t esx -h https://<yourIP>/sdk -u <user> -p <password> addSharedFolder <Path to vmx file>
 <Share name> <Host path>
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by:raj27962
ID: 24249237
a safer solution due to irq locking issues caused by native usb in esx servers is to get a usb to ip convertor, this looks like a kvm, you plug in usb devices into it and is is connected to the network, the server can then see the device as needed.
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by:xy8088
ID: 24251029
>>>get a usb to ip convertor

Is there any make/model that is normally used for this kind of thing with ESXi?
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raj27962 earned 1600 total points
ID: 24251077
we use Lantronix usb to ip convertors on several sites each with multiple vmware clusters, works fine in our 32,000 user environment.
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by:dt3itsteam
ID: 24251636
ESXi, as far as i understand, doesnt have support for USB, only some in ESX.

Also see this thread - http://www.experts-exchange.com/Software/VMWare/Q_23752306.html
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by:raj27962
ID: 24252009
usb to ip is an external device - bypasses limitation of esxi and host hardware
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by:jjoz
ID: 25773196
Hi there,

is running ESXi on USB, does that involving risk of losing the data since USB got limited amount of read and write operation ?
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by:raj27962
ID: 25775847
Yes. You risk losing the esxi server however you can allways dd the usb stick to another one or backup the configuration files from it. The risk to vm's is the same as in a single server esx envrionment where the disks fail.
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by:jjoz
ID: 25780804
Hi Raj,

do you mean using this tool to copy the config file in case the USB stick failed ?

http://vmwaretips.com/wp/2009/10/12/before-host-profiles-there-was-vicfg-cfgbackuppl/
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