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Connect HP SW Ultrium 3000 to ESX server

Posted on 2011-03-21
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Last Modified: 2012-06-22
Hi experts,

At my working environment, we have 3 ESX Servers and 1 EMC (SAN).   We have around 10 virtual servers (vmware) and have Vmotion is running as for failed over.

Problem:
We just purchase a HP StorageWorks Ultrium 3000 SAS.  We have to buy a SAS card to install in one of the ESX.  

Is it possible for our Virtual server to see that HP tape drive which will connect through SAS cable to one of our ESX server?  If it is then what will happen if that ESX server failed?

Thanks.
enz
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Question by:enzogoy
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2) earned 167 total points
ID: 35187202
Yes, if you purchase a compatible Adaptec SAS card, you can connect the tape drive, and the virtual machine will connect and communicate with the tape drive, on that ESX server, which the card is installed in. If you VMotion that Virtual Machine to another ESX server, without a compatible SAS card, Passthru will not work and that virtual machine will not be able to connect to the tape drive.

The same if the ESX server fails, the virtual machine will fail or move using HA/DRS/vMotion, and it will not connect to the tape drive.
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Assisted Solution

by:VAlmighty
VAlmighty earned 167 total points
ID: 35189613
when you connect the hp storageworks to a esx host, it will become local to that esx host. when the virtual machines runs on that esx host, only then they can see the storagwork. if map the storageworks to a virtual machine and try to migrate or move to other esx hosts in the cluster, it will fail as the virtual machine will not be able to find the mapped storageworks on other esx hosts.
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by:andyalder
andyalder earned 166 total points
ID: 35193688
Beware HP recommends using a Smart Array P212/zero as SAS HBA and that is very hard to get working under any operating system, silly recommendation from HP IMO.
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Author Comment

by:enzogoy
ID: 35194430
thanks guy ... clear my head out.

andyalder - HP recommends using a Samart Array P212/zero  but can we use different card for it?

we just order Areca ARC-1880x card, will it work?  Thanks.
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Expert Comment

by:andyalder
ID: 35196866
With VMDirectPath I/O just about any card will work as far as I know.
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by:enzogoy
ID: 35202655
Thank you guys.
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Expert Comment

by:ericdaly
ID: 35281490
Guys Do not use the HP P212 ... Purple SOD once the VM trys to install the passed through Device.
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Expert Comment

by:andyalder
ID: 35282442
Have you tried switching it from RAID mode to HBA mode Eric? Admittedly I don't know how to do that but it's possible on some of them.
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Author Comment

by:enzogoy
ID: 35371615
I have the drive to connect to ESX through SAS card.  The guest machine detects the SAS card through Passthrough and install the driver for that SAS device.  But after that it doesn't seem to see the drive.  I try to install the driver of the HP StorageWorks Ultrium and this error message pop up:

"Smart Component execution not supported at this time in Server Virtualized Guest operating systems"

Does that mean VMWare doesn't support  the drive?
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Expert Comment

by:andyalder
ID: 35373082
That's an HP error message, try installing the driver provided with your backup software instead.
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Author Comment

by:enzogoy
ID: 35380027
Hi andyalder,

I'm using Symantec Backup Exec 2010.  How can i find the drivers from symantec to install for this device?
I thought the driver for the drive is provided by HP only.  How could Symantec know about these device and provide the drivers for it.

Hope you can help me out.  Thanks.

enz
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Expert Comment

by:andyalder
ID: 35382171
Tapeinst will install the Backup Exec drivers - http://www.symantec.com/business/support/index?page=content&id=TECH6098
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