Toggle Passthrough option doesn't function

Hypercat (Deb)
Hypercat (Deb) used Ask the Experts™
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I have two HP ML350 servers, one is a Gen9 and one is a Gen10, at a client site.  The Gen10 is a brand new server with ESXi 6.7U2 (HP custom image) installed; the Gen9 originally had ESXi 6.0 installed and was upgraded to ESXi 6.7U2 (same HP custom image).  There is no VCenter server involved; these are stand-alone ESXi servers.

I'm trying simply to pass through a USB 3.0 controller and/or an add-in PCIe USB 3.0 controller card, to be used with external USB drives.  The Toggle Passthrough option on both of these servers is greyed out.  I've checked the BIOS options and Virtualization and VT-d are both enabled. No matter what I check on the hardware list, the toggle passthrough option stays stubbornly inactive.

I've done this many times before, and I currently have a Dell PowerEdge T430 at another site with 6.7U2 on it and the passthrough function works fine, so I don't think it has anything to do with VMWare, but I could be wrong...
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE Fellow)VMware and Virtualization Consultant
Fellow 2018
Expert of the Year 2017

Commented:
1. The server needs to be certified for VM Direct Path I/O and PCI Passthrough.

(so I don't think it has anything to do with VMWare, but I could be wrong...)

supported server!

2. The I/O card you need to passthrough, not all PCI cards, can be passed through, do not assume just because the card has a PCI bus, it can be passed through. VM Direct Path I/O was designed for SCSI cards and Business grade GPU.

I could not find the HP ML350 listed for VM Direct Path I/O on the HCL.

I previously answered a question here...although 6.5, if its not in 6.5, it will not be in 6.7.

https://www.experts-exchange.com/questions/29114543/Tape-drive-pass-through-to-veeam-server-ESXI-6-5.html

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Commented:
Well, here's a bizarre result: A colleague of mine was looking at this same issue. I had provisioned only a USB3 device on the virtual machine that we want to connect to the external USB drive (because this server's USB ports are all USB3). He added a USB2 port, saved it. Then he went back to the Hardware list and, Presto!, the Toggle Passthrough option lit up like a champ.  We were able to add the PCIe USB controllers on the motherboard and all is working fine now. The only thing that bothers me is that I have no idea why it didn't work initially or why it started working after adding a USB2 controller to the VMs that we're using for passthrough.

Thanks for your response, though anyway.
See previous comment.
Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE Fellow)VMware and Virtualization Consultant
Fellow 2018
Expert of the Year 2017

Commented:
Again adding USB3 controllers, is not what VM Direct Path I/O was designed for!

VM Direct Path I/O does restrict what your VM can do, e.g. cannot be vMotion, and pins that VM to that host!

If this is to use Backups, then backup to a NAS.

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