I have reached out to the VMware community but have yet to hear from someone there. I thought I might try asking around the dell forum for those who are familiar with Dell PowerEdge T110 II. Has anyone gotten DirectPath I/O to work with this model. I want to use the internal drive bays for a raid of my ESXI install but use external USB drives for my file server VM. I can't use the USB ports because DirectPath I/O is not supported with the hardware. I have virtualization enabled in the BIOS and I have read that others have gotten this to work.
I have tried updating my BIOS but I can't seem to update that ( I will leave that for another post). Anyone familiar with this model and using it with VMware?
VT-d and AMD-Vi are the processor technologies that support DirectPath I/O. There are processors available for the T110 that do not support DirectPath. Let me know the model processor you have and I can check to make sure it supports this functionality.
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Thanks for responding. I have the Intel Core I3-3220. Is direct path only for onboard devices such as the USB, and are PCI cards exempt from that?
Is there anyway to pass my USB connections through to my VM's without VMdirect path? As mentioned in my last reply will a PCI card work or is that treated the same as the onboard ones?
That processor does not support DirectPath: http://ark.intel.com/products/65693/
Drumboy444 Is there anyway to pass my USB connections through to my VM's without VMdirect path? As mentioned in my last reply will a PCI card work or is that treated the same as the onboard ones?
The only two technologies I am aware of to allow direct communication with a hardware device in a virtual OS or to share physical hardware across multiple operating systems is DirectPath I/O and Single Root Input Output Virtualization. Unfortunately your system does not support either of these.
I don't think either of those will allow you to do what you are wanting to do. VMware does not support using USB devices as datastores. The host OS can be installed on USB, but not the virtual machines. Here is a discussion in the VMware community that discusses this very issue. The last post describes a work around, but to my knowledge what you are wanting to do is not a supported feature of VMware:
I have found a workaround for my issue. While VMdirectpath i/o would be nice there is also USB device passthrough which is another way for direct communication with a hardware device to a guest OS. ESXI allows for USB Device Passthrough (this can be done without vmdirect path).
When I first tried this (I didn't realize at the time that ESXI 5.0 didn't support USB 3.0) my usb 3.0 device wasn't being passed through and I thought that it was because of a misconfiguration of vmdirect path. I did some further research after you said that my processor didn't support it and found the documentation for USB device passthrough. All I had to do was add the USB controller to my Guest OS configuration then added a "usb device" to my Guest OS configuration which found the name of the device plugged in. I was then able to add a USB 2.0 device and my guest OS sees is just fine.
I wasn't actually looking to put my datastore on an external device, I have my datastore on a 3TB drive internal to the Host but only wanted internal drives to have my ESXI install and wanted all my external drives to have files for my virtualized file server. I want to do raid of my file server drives and doing that would have taken up needed spots inside my poweredge T110 II and I would not have had the room to do raid of my ESXI install.
I'm glad to hear you found a way to make it work. Thanks for the update.