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VMWare: USB faxing with failover cluster.

Posted on 2015-01-14
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Last Modified: 2015-01-25
Dear Experts

Our environment has 2 ESXi hosts setup with vSphere 5.5 with vSphere HA configured.

Now, one of our VMs (2008r2) need a USB fax modem connected to it.
I've found a few articles on EE that describe USB passthrough connectivity to hosts but doesn't explain how to make it work in a failover cluster. Is this possible without using a network attached USB hub like AnywhereUSB? Or more importantly, is it actually possible to do this with AnywhereUSB or in some other way to support host failover?
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Question by:chinguetti
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2) earned 2000 total points
ID: 40550740
It is possible to do this, but remember if the Host which has the USB device attached to it, dies, and is not available so does any device attached to it! and hence AnywhereUSB has it's advantages.

If you are vMotioning VMs between host server A and B, this is supported by USB, event if the USB device is on Server B, and you move the VM to Server A, the USB device still works, via USB over network.

see my EE Article

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:chinguetti
ID: 40550811
Dear Andrew

Thank you for your input!
I read some of your articles before posting my questions and they were extremely helpful.
The reason I posted this question is because the server needs to be online (almost) 24/7 365 days a week.
In case of host failure / maintenance etc having the host offline would have quite an impact on our business.
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LVL 124
ID: 40550829
It's very rare these days, to have a host go offline or fail, hardware has become very good.
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Author Comment

by:chinguetti
ID: 40559174
Hi Andrew

Thank you once again for letting me pick your brain on this one.
Are there any recommended USB modems that work better than others?
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LVL 124
ID: 40559254
USR Robotics have good USB fax modems.

But be aware that USB pass through was not designed for modems but security keys or dongles.
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