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Sharing USB Drives on VMWare

Posted on 2011-09-20
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Last Modified: 2012-05-12
I've installed a copy of VMware vSphere Hypervisor™ (ESXi) on a new computer to begin working with virtualization.  What I have accomplished so far is installing two virtual copies of Windows XP on the machine.  I have yet to understand USB in virtualization, however.  I need to share three USB Hard Drives throughout the two (soon to be four) virtual environments.

Is this possible?  And if so, are there any points for doing this?  I haven't done anything with ESXI before, so this is quite new to me.
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Question by:Kyle Witter
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coolsport00 earned 250 total points
ID: 36567347
IF your host(s) support IOMMU and USB passthrough, then you can connect a USB directly to a VM, then you can share that "drive" out as you would any other drive within the OS.

See these KBs:
http://kb.vmware.com/kb/1022290

Non-support devices:
http://kb.vmware.com/kb/1015

VMDirectPath:
http://kb.vmware.com/kb/1010789
http://www.petri.co.il/vmware-esxi4-vmdirectpath.htm

~coolsport00
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by:jakethecatuk
jakethecatuk earned 250 total points
ID: 36567352
http://www.experts-exchange.com/Software/VMWare/A_2094-Copy-files-to-USB-drive-under-VMware-ESX4-ESXi4-vSphere-console.html

The above article was written by another Expert.  Pretty much covers off what you want.
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LVL 121
ID: 36567579
I think the best thing you can do is purchase and use a Pogoplug, which lets you turn ALL your External USB hard drives, and allows them to be shared using Windows shares, in this way ALL your virtual machines can share the contents of the USB drive.

USB in itself cannot be shared between multiple VMs.
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