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How to setup USB dongles to VM ESXi 4.1?

Posted on 2010-09-07
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Last Modified: 2013-11-11
We are running VMware ESXi 4.1 and are slowing processing some of our Servers to VM. One of the Servers use a USB key for the license for the program and database. I have installed the USB feature on the ESXi console for that Server, however the Server doesn't recognize it. I have rebooted it but still no go.

Did a little research and it looks like we may have to use a Networked USB Hub (http://www.digi.com/products/usb/anywhereusb.jsp#overview). Does that sound right?

Thanks
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Question by:dsmjeff
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2) earned 125 total points
ID: 33622199
This is correct, but we use Fabula Tech software and connect the dingle or USB token to a physical server workstation in the data centre

http://www.usb-over-network.com/usb-over-network.html
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LVL 120
ID: 33622211
This software allows you to share USB devices over a network, just like a printer share etc install the server software on the physical server, and client software in the vm.

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Assisted Solution

by:coolsport00
coolsport00 earned 125 total points
ID: 33622217
Yes, that is more than likely accurate. VMware has limited USB capability in its hypervisor still, even though I have added it. For a list of 'supported' devices for ESX/i 4.1, see:
http://kb.vmware.com/kb/1021345

If passthrough isn't working for you (I always recommend posters to check, even if the device isn't listed on the above KB), then USB over IP is the way to go.

Regards,
~coolsport00
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Expert Comment

by:coolsport00
ID: 33622227
Typo above -> "VMware has limited USB capability in its hypervisor still, even though *they* have added it." :) (sorry)
BTW...I use Digi's product for our UPS solution and it works great; it's pretty easy to setup and use.

~coolsport00
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LVL 42

Assisted Solution

by:paulsolov
paulsolov earned 125 total points
ID: 33622940
Just used a Digi USBAnywhere and it works like a charm.  Supported by vmware
http://www.digi.com/pdf/wp_ESXServer_AnywhereUSB.pdf

Used it with a license keyfob that is encrypted and doesn't mount as a drive letter as well as a regular usb hard drive
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Assisted Solution

by:Funktopus
Funktopus earned 125 total points
ID: 33637629
I can testify to hanccocka's suggestion regarding the fabula tech product. Have used it on both Hyper-V and ESX with no issues. Easy to setup and simply works with no hassles. You can download a 15 day trial to assess.
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Author Comment

by:dsmjeff
ID: 33661726
Were evaluating both Digi Anywhere as well as Fabula Tech.

Thanks all! :)
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