Solved

Vmware compatibility with pci parallel cards

Posted on 2011-02-12
12
2,820 Views
Last Modified: 2012-05-11
I have a server that it has 2 PCI cards, with four serial ports each one of them PCI card.
On these cards is connected some PLC (PLC Programmable Logic Controls).
The question is if I install VM on this server, the VM is capable to see these cards??
Or the VM it will pass transparent these cards, to the installed Operating System.

P.S.The OS it will be Windows 2003.

Best Regards
0
Comment
Question by:DareDevilE12
[X]
Welcome to Experts Exchange

Add your voice to the tech community where 5M+ people just like you are talking about what matters.

  • Help others & share knowledge
  • Earn cash & points
  • Learn & ask questions
  • 5
  • 3
  • 2
  • +2
12 Comments
 
LVL 120

Assisted Solution

by:Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)
Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2) earned 125 total points
ID: 34878390
What version of VMware will you be using VMware Workstation, VMware Server, VMware Player.

In the subject you state PCI Parallel Cards, and in the question you refer to serial ports?

If the parallel ports and serial ports are detected by the host server, they can be used as passthru' to the Virtual Machine.
0
 
LVL 70

Expert Comment

by:garycase
ID: 34879004
VMWare can access both physical parallel ports and physical serial ports on the host.    It does not "see" these by default, by you can add them to the virtual machine on the Settings page.     I do not, however, know how many ports VMWare supports at once ... the most I have on any physical machine is two -- and VMWare WILL let me use both of those.    I suspect you can add as many as you need -- but can't confirm that.
0
 
LVL 28

Expert Comment

by:bgoering
ID: 34879454
I can confirm it will use at least three because at some point in the past I created and connected a bluetooth (COM) connection to a vm.

Good Luck
0
How our DevOps Teams Maximize Uptime

Our Dev teams are like yours. They’re continually cranking out code for new features/bugs fixes, testing, deploying, responding to production monitoring events and more. It’s complex. So, we thought you’d like to see what’s working for us. Read the use case whitepaper.

 
LVL 28

Assisted Solution

by:bgoering
bgoering earned 375 total points
ID: 34879468
Ahh - from the user manual (http://www.vmware.com/pdf/ws71_manual.pdf) pp 27:

"Serial (COM) Ports
    Up to four serial (COM) ports.
    Output to serial ports, Windows or Linux files, or named pipes."

So it looks like limit is likely to be four ports.

0
 
LVL 1

Author Comment

by:DareDevilE12
ID: 34879598
First of all I want to thank you for the direct support.

I want to correct my mistake, I refer to serial ports, and at VMware ESXi Server.

So its good to know that the ESXi can see or at least pass thru the PCI card to the Host Operating System.

My initial idea was this: I have two same servers. Both server have the same PCI serial cards. But the one server is active and the other is backup. So I thought to install ESXi at the Backup server and grab the live server to the ESXi.
So like this, it did not need to setup anything,Because is two identical servers with to identical PCI cards. The only issue is if the ESXi can provide this resources of cards to the OS.

Best Regards
0
 
LVL 1

Author Comment

by:DareDevilE12
ID: 34879605
bgoering the limit is four port per card or at the total?
0
 
LVL 62

Expert Comment

by:☠ MASQ ☠
ID: 34879613
A maximum of 4 ports can be redirected to the host - i.e. COM1-4 only
0
 
LVL 28

Accepted Solution

by:
bgoering earned 375 total points
ID: 34879807
As of ESXi 4.1 you can assign serial ports on the physcial host to a vm. My previous response was for Workstation, but the limit on ESXi is also 4.

If you install ESXi on a host that has your pci card it should recognize them as

/dev/char/serial/uart0
/dev/char/serial/uart1
/dev/char/serial/uart2
...
/dev/char/serial/uartn

Note that 0 and 1 will likely be the onboard serial ports if your particular server has them.

If you only need 4 ports on your vm you should be good to go.

Now all bets are off for this method (though that is what the question asked) if your application is such that instead of accessing the COM1, COM2 device names, it loads some vendor device driver that wants to directly control the PCI card and its ports. For example, I have some FAX boards that work that way.

If that is the case you will need to look at VMDirectPath. This facility allows you to in effect, dedicate the pci card to a particular virtual machine. As with most things there are some limitations in this approach. Look at http://kb.vmware.com/selfservice/microsites/search.do?language=en_US&cmd=displayKC&externalId=1010789 for more info on VMDirectPath

Good Luck
0
 
LVL 28

Expert Comment

by:bgoering
ID: 34879813
oh, and the limit is 4 serial ports per virtual machine
0
 
LVL 70

Expert Comment

by:garycase
ID: 34880114
As noted, the limit is 4 ports per virtual machine -- HOWEVER, once a port is directed to a specific VM,. it cannot be used by another VM at the same time.
0
 
LVL 1

Author Comment

by:DareDevilE12
ID: 34880344
As it seems the first solution cannot help me, because I need to see eight serial ports total, four per card.
So bgoering the other solution you mention, for VMDirectPath seems to have possibilities, because as I mention before, the application read the signals from PLC machines, and it very possible to have direct control at the serial cards.

Best Regards
0
 
LVL 28

Assisted Solution

by:bgoering
bgoering earned 375 total points
ID: 34880383
OK, give it a shot and let us know how it works out for you
0

Featured Post

Optimizing Cloud Backup for Low Bandwidth

With cloud storage prices going down a growing number of SMBs start to use it for backup storage. Unfortunately, business data volume rarely fits the average Internet speed. This article provides an overview of main Internet speed challenges and reveals backup best practices.

Question has a verified solution.

If you are experiencing a similar issue, please ask a related question

When rebooting a vCenters 6.0 and try to connect using vSphere Client we get this issue "Invalid URL: The hostname could not parsed." When we get this error we need to do some changes in the vCenter advanced settings to fix the issue.
Arrow Electronics was searching for a KVM  (Keyboard/Video/Mouse) switch that could display on one single monitor the current status of all units being tested on the rack.
Teach the user how to install ESXi 5.5 and configure the management network System Requirements: ESXi Installation:  Management Network Configuration: Management Network Testing:
Advanced tutorial on how to run the esxtop command to capture a batch file in csv format in order to export the file and use it for performance analysis. He demonstrates how to download the file using a vSphere web client (or vSphere client) and exp…

737 members asked questions and received personalized solutions in the past 7 days.

Join the community of 500,000 technology professionals and ask your questions.

Join & Ask a Question