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Can a virtual machine use a physical serial port?

I have a server which logs phone calls to and from our company.  Currently it is using a serial cable to actively log phone calls to my server.  The question I have is will this machine stilll be able to use the serial cable after virtualization or will I have to host my phone logging software on a separate, physical server?

An help would be greatly appreciated.
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paulms53
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paulms53
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lucius_theCommented:
You are be able to connect your serial port to a VM, at least with VMware it's possible, not sure for MS VM.
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B HCommented:
with hyper-v no, with vmware yes

in the settings of the virtual machine, you can specify how the com port should behave
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lucius_theCommented:
There is also an option to use a "networked" COM port, which is an IP device that connects to a network and to a COM port. You can then install device drivers on any computer on the network and you actually get a COM port on that computer that sends and receives data via the devices COM port. Ideal for VM-s.

This is one such device:
http://www.equinox-tech.com/products/details.asp?ID=1184
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paulms53Author Commented:
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lucius_theCommented:
This one needs a computer and shares it's COM ports on LAN. It may work well (didn't try it), but you still need a computer to share it's serial port, so... Equinox is just a small device that you can plug near (or inside) your PBX. It's a different solution.
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paulms53Author Commented:
well the phone log server does have other functions. what if i virtualize the machine anyway, take out the phone logging system, and use the host server as the phone log server?  would using a physical device on the host bog down the virtual servers peformance? (please excuse me as i am in the research stages of virtualization.)
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lucius_theCommented:
No problem.
I don't see why this approach would cause a slowdown at the virtual machine. My idea would be - if you have good reason to virtualize the log server, to use the host server just as a "COM port server", using this software you mentioned to provide a COM port mapping to the VM, and leave all PBX log features in the VM.

But, if I were you, I'd simply use VMware and have the COM port and made avaliable directly to the VM :) Be careful still, since VM virtualisation may not really virtualise the com port and all it's signals, but only the actual data communication according to RS-232. I am not sure of this, you should read through the VMware manual to be sure. If your PBX uses some other kind of signaling you may not be able to make it avaliable to the VM even through VMware. This is probably a rare case, since it most likely uses RS-232,but keep in mind that in VM you maybe don't get a true hard-copy of signals that happen on the wire.
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