Adding USB hard disk to Blade enclosure, so it shows up on Virtual Machine? How?

hi guys

we have a HP blade environment. It is a C7000. I'm running Vcenter 5 on these.

We have a load of VM's that sit on our SAN (P2700).

I've added a usb hard disk to the back of our blade enclosure.

I'd like to somehow 'add' this hard disk to become visible by a VM of ours. how do you do this? any ideas?

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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE Fellow)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
YashyAuthor Commented:
Hey Hanccocka,

Thanks so much for this. However, it won't recognise the usb disk.

It is connected to the back of the C7000 enclosure. I'm assuming it has to be recognised in there first? any way I can check that first?
Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE Fellow)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
correct, not all usb ports are compatible.

check the ESXi logs, there is a log called usb.log for details of the usb device detected
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andyalderHaemorrhoids victimCommented:
Blade enclosure USB port cannot be mounted as shared storage, all you can do is mount .ISO files off it read-only to run things like firmware update and SmartStart. The enclosure OA presents it to the blade as a virtual CD-ROM.
Back usb connection is for update the firmware of the blade or cards, you have to connect the usb to the blade server wich is running the virtual machine where you want to view the usb. Blades servers has a special cable that connect direct to the server and has inputs for vga and usb connections. This cable has to be connected in front of the blade enclosure direct to the blade server.

Them you can add it in ESXi or vCenter trougth vsphere cliente.
YashyAuthor Commented:
Then, how is someone supposed to connect an external USB hard disk to one of the VM's hosted in our SAN environment. Surely, there's a way to export/import data if not from the enclosure, then somehow via the SAN?
Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE Fellow)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
connect the USB hard drive to the client, and use the vSphere Client datastore browser to copy to your local USB disk.
You can connect USB direct to the blade server. The cable you need is the shown in the next page

Then you connect the usb disk in this cable and in the vSphere client you can connect the USB to virtual machine like hanccocka says in the first port.

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andyalderHaemorrhoids victimCommented:
If it's just importing data to a VM you can plug the USB into your workstation and send it across the LAN.
andyalderHaemorrhoids victimCommented:
As an aside does anyone know how to get Linux install to work successfully en-mass from an ISO mounted on the blades through a USB stick in the OA? I can do 16 firmware updates at once that way and deploy 16 SmartStart based Windows G6/7 blades that way but the RHEL installer crashes randomly when more than about 5 blades are hitting the stick at the same time.
andyalderHaemorrhoids victimCommented:
I suppose you could put your data in a big ISO file on a USB stick, map that to one of the blades using the OA and then use USB passthrough to map it to a VM but it's a lot of hassle and still not shared.
I reaslised this post closed some time ago but inside the BL 490 blade servers there is an internal usb port, could you plug a usb memory key into this and present this through to a VM through ESXi without purchasing the SUV cable? thanks.
andyalderHaemorrhoids victimCommented:
Yes, the internal USB port is just like the external ones on the SUV cable. It's really there so you can install ESXi on it to boot from although the SD card slot is more popular for that.
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