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vmware esxi 4.1, windows 2008 r2, ibm ts3100 or 3573 tape library,

Posted on 2011-02-19
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Last Modified: 2012-06-27
The Tape library shows in the guest's device manager as an IBM TotalStorage 3573 Tape Library.  It has a warning sign, though and Backup Exec shows it Offline.

I am passing through the SCSI device for the library and the LTO5 tape drive into this guest only.  There is another SCSI device in the list, however, called "Unknown IBM-ESXS".

Any clues to get the library to be recognized properly in the Windows guest?
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Question by:snowdog_2112
14 Comments
 
LVL 119
ID: 34933546
Have you got the drivers from IBM or Symantec?
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LVL 13

Expert Comment

by:Randy_Bojangles
ID: 34934162
a library has 2 SCSI devices - the drive and the robotics

you need to pass through present BOTH of them to the guest for BE to pick it up correctly

Oh and do a LiveUpdate in BE to make sure that you have the latest version of the drivers as hanccocka is suggesting above
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LVL 4

Expert Comment

by:zmorvik
ID: 34935074
What model is your SCSI card?  Only card I have been able to get to work with ESX v4 and up is the adaptec 29320.  I was able to get many to pass thru, but I would see the same issues you are seeing.  The drive would work then drop offline and would just never work reliably.  (read/write errors during a BE job.)As Randy stated you will need to pass both devices thru, but I'd also check the HCL for VMWare regarding the model of SCSI card you are running.  It's a very limited list.
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Author Comment

by:snowdog_2112
ID: 34937960
The controller in the host is an IBM 46M0907 SAS HBA.  I have passed both the tape drive and library into the vm.  The library shows up in the device manager inside the guest, but with a warning icon, like a driver problem.

I was spec'd this combination specifically for this application, so I'd be pretty upset if it turns out they are not compatible.

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LVL 119
ID: 34937991
I did state this initially the only VMware supported environment is to use an Adaptec card.

Who completed the specification?
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Author Comment

by:snowdog_2112
ID: 34944559
My distributor spec'd it out based on my requirements.

Wouldn't be the first time they mis-spec'd based on the requirements.
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LVL 119
ID: 34944631
Okay, if they've spec-ed it, throw it back to the Distributor, and get them to fund a working solution, and send out one of their VMware Trained Specialists.

In all the work we do in this area of backup with VMware vSphere, it's a Partner Lead Installation and Supported through the Partner/Reseller VMware Channel. Because of the difficulties in this area with supported, supported devices, it's seen as a hands on delivered Partner Solution by VMware. (i.e. not an end user supported install), if you look at some of the documents in this area, it states Partner only. (only because VMware want to make sure we have ticked all the boxes for the solution to work, if we don't follow their guidance, e.g. non-adaptec SCSI card, they report it's a non-supported solution.
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Author Comment

by:snowdog_2112
ID: 34970310
I am working on getting the adaptec controller - will follow up when I can get it installed.  Thanks.
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LVL 119
ID: 34970359
Okay.
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Author Comment

by:snowdog_2112
ID: 34970573
Wait...this is a SAS connection.  The adaptec controller you mention is SCSI.
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LVL 119

Accepted Solution

by:
Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2) earned 500 total points
ID: 34970943
SATA+Serial Attached SCSI (SAS)

You really do need to speak to VMware and/or your VMware Partner for clarification on what card will be supported, and is required.

Cards that also support VMDirect path also work well.

e.g. Dell SAS 5/e, Adaptec 29320ALS, but there are many variables, that must be right for this work work:-

1. Host physical sever
2. VMware ESX Version
3. SCSI or SAS card
4. VMware Direct Path
5. Guest VM
6. Native Drivers for SCSI or SAS card
7. Tape Drive
8. Auto Loader
9. Backup Software

All of the above must be correct, for it to work. As most systems are all different, it is very difficult to suggest, what will work for your environment. This is why it's often assigned as a project to a Partner to implement.

(I've had many conversations with VMware Engineers that have also said the following "Tape drives and Media changers are no longer supported for local attachment").
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LVL 1

Expert Comment

by:martgin
ID: 34976556
Make sure you use the installer and do not use the device manager to install the driver, but ise the install utility:

install_exclusive.exe or the install_nonexclusive.exe.

See this tip
http://www.ibm.com/support/entry/portal/docdisplay?lndocid=MIGR-5082352&brandind=5000019
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Author Comment

by:snowdog_2112
ID: 35023038
I went to bare metal OS install on the hardware.  Moved Veeam Backup/Replication to another vmware host in the SAN.

Not the best solution, as I now have a Windows box on bare metal.  Thanks.
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Author Closing Comment

by:snowdog_2112
ID: 35023042
I did not mess around trying to kludge together hardware that may work.  Since I needed a solution to be rock solid, I went to a bare metal OS install on the library host.
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