ESX 4 USB Passthrough - DL380 G5

Lamont77
Lamont77 used Ask the Experts™
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I have 3 DL380 G5 hosts that do not support passthrough due to there being no VT-d directpath option in the BIOS (correct me if im wrong please).

Im wondering if there is another way to configure passthrough. I think ESX 5.0 has new passthrough features (client side etc).

Basically, I know my hosts dont support VT-d directpath but I would like to know if upgrading from 4.0 to 5.0 would enable some kind of passthrough or if there are any other ways bar upgrading to a DL380 G6.
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As far as I am aware 5.0 supports USB passthrough

You could also use USB over ethernet, it worked for me http://www.usb-over-ethernet.com/
4.1 and 5 both support USB passthrough. take a look at this article for ESX 4

http://www.petri.co.il/vmware-esxi4-vmdirectpath.htm

Author

Commented:
Do you mean that VT-d is not important with versions 4.1 and 5.0? it works regardless of motherboard capability ?
Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE Fellow)VMware and Virtualization Consultant
Fellow 2018
Expert of the Year 2017

Commented:
Intel VT-D is used for VM Direct Path

Checkout My EE Article Walkthrough for USB Passthrough

HOW TO: Add and Connect a USB Device to a Virtual Machine, hosted on VMware vSphere Hypervisor ESX 4.1 ESXi 4.1, ESXi 5.0

Author

Commented:
And VM Direct Path is needed to enable passthrough? ....

I know that 4.1 and 5.0 support passthrough. I also know that my server does not have VT-d. What i need clarification on is if I actually need to have VT-d to use 4.1 & 5.0 passthrough? It has been hinted at, I just need to stated in black and white ... You cant have USB passthrough AT ALL because you've no VT-d .... OR you dont need VT-d to use passthrough for 41. & 5.0 .... etc

thanks for the info so far.
VMware and Virtualization Consultant
Fellow 2018
Expert of the Year 2017
Commented:
NO, not USB Passthrough, just having USB ports enables USB Passthrough.

VM Direct Path, different function that allows adding physical PCI cards in the host -  into a VM!

follow my article and you will be fine.

Author

Commented:
Thanks. However when I go to add the hardware I get "USB Controller (Unavialble). The information attached states: "This device cannot be added to this virtual machine becasue: The maximum number of devices of this type has been reached."

To my knowledge there are no other VM's that have a USB controller added.

Any ideas?

Author

Commented:
We are still on 4.0 if this has any bearing on why the USB Controller is Unavailable.
reitznerIT Consultant
Commented:
You need to use 4.1 and your VM needs Virtual Hardware 7

See this Article:
http://www.vm-help.com/esx40i/upgrade_virtual_hardware/virtual_hardware_upgrade.php

Then you can add an usb-controller and an usb-device to the vm.

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