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USB ports for virtual servers in VM Ware environment

Posted on 2013-10-25
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Last Modified: 2013-10-31
I am working with three virtual servers in a VMware environment. I had an office administrator ask me if we can make one of the servers a fax server. I have done this on a physical server before with a USB modem for the fax line, but I've never before attempted this with a virtual server.

After researching options for using a virtual server as a fax server, it seemed like the best option is to use an Ethernet-to-USB "server," link the virtual machine to use it as its own native USB ports, and install a USB modem in the Ethernet-to-USB "server."

I have two questions: is this in fact a good idea? And if so, would this device work for what I'm attempting to accomplish?
MYUTN-50 USB Device Server Ethernet To USB Server
http://www.amazon.com/MYUTN-50-USB-Device-Server-Ethernet/dp/B001GQH7VW

I hope it is alright for me to post that link. If it is not, I hope an administrator will remove the link or tell me and I will remove it.

Thanks for any advice you can give me regarding this!
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Question by:LouisvilleGeek
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paulsolov earned 500 total points
ID: 39602220
We have used these with our customer Vmware environments.  We have specifically used the Digi usb/ethernet hubs, mostly the 2 port models

http://www.digi.com/products/usb/anywhereusb#models

Also good for software that requires a usb key on the server.  And since it's ip based it is compatible with DRS and HA versus having to install a USB card on an ESXi host and configure  VM with paththrough --which also works just more limited.
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LVL 118
ID: 39602503
There is no real reason to purchase any additional hardware, although Ethernet to USB devices do work.

Why not connect the USB device directly to the host and use USB passthrough?

see my EE Article, Step by Step Tutorial Instructions with Screenshots

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
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by:paulsolov
ID: 39603230
Problem with the passthrough for our customers is that you have no HA or DRS.  With the hardware you're up and running without a single point of failure.  Even with passthrough we found that you need a supported USB card, had several issues with the built in ones.
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