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Contributor
Contributor

How to access ESXi's Smart Array P410i from VM?

Hi,

There is an Autoloader attached via Smart Array P410i to the ESXi 6.0 host.

Is it possible to detect the Autoloader from the VM hosted by the ESXi? The VM is on Windows Server 2012.

Hope I can get some advice or guidance regarding this.

Thanks alot.

Regards,

wf

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6 Replies
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Expert
Expert

I don't think you can access the array controller from the VM.

If you find any answer useful. please mark the answer as correct or helpful.
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Hot Shot
Hot Shot

Its not possible, what would you like to do with the controller ? make changes or check hardware health.

If you want to check health etc you can do that from SSH or the hardware status in VI client.

R

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Expert
Expert

Hi,

first of all with "autoloader" I assume you mean a tape library?

If that's the case it's commonly not recommended or even supported to run a tape library or even just a tape drive with a RAID controller. That's even the case with physical systems and not hypervisors/VMs.

You should use a separate host bus adapter (HBA) and connect the library as the one and only device to that.

You then may pass-through the tape device to a dedicated backup VM.

In general this is an unsupported configuration, VMWare does not support tape drives and you may run into issues like the VM loosing connection to the library etc.

VMWare support won't help you with that and same applies to most backup software vendors.

I run such an unsupported configuration with a HP LTO4 external drive with a HP H222 HBA and VMWare 5.5 U1. The backup VM is Win 2008 with Backup Exec 2010. After some trouble on initial setup this has been running fine for 7 months now.

Some links for the troubles you may experience: Re: Tape drive not appearing and adaptec card path dead after upgrade to vsphere 4

or even VMware KB: Tape device incorrectly detected as ALUA device on ESXi/ESX hosts

plus several disussions in e.g. Symantec support froums.

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Contributor
Contributor

My bad.. it is not Smart Array P410i, the correct card is Smart Array P212.

pastedImage_0.png

What I want to archive is similar to you. I want to setup 1 of the VM as a backup server.

Earlier not able to find the tape drive from the SCSI Device drop list.. but are able to do so now (not sure why but it seem to find it after i shutdown all the VM..)

pastedImage_5.png

Can i double-check, based on the runtime number, do i select the Virtual Device Node as SCSI (1:0)?

Also do you think ArcServe R12 will work in this type of environment?

Thank you for very for your help.

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Expert
Expert

I also run my tape drive on virtual node 1:0

It should be working for you, too this way.

But for some reason sometimes the thing mentioned in above KB happens. It happened to me after some upgrade attempt to VMWare 5.5 U2. But I could fix it the way mentioned in the KB and discussion.

I have no experiences running this kind of config with ArcServe, last time I used ArcServe is years ago and without VMWare in between.

Maybe some googling helps to find someone running it. For Backup Exec there are a lot of people successfully running such config, but I think I read about some issues with certain tape libraries (e.g. magazine slots were not passed through to the VM and library was detected as standalone drive which is pretty useless).

So it's more or less trial and error and no official support by the hardware and software vendors.

Some further helpful links:

http://kb.vmware.com/selfservice/microsites/search.do?language=en_US&cmd=displayKC&externalId=101640...

ESXi 5, HP P212 and LTO 5 tape drive goes offline

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Expert
Expert

Not sure if that exists with ArcServe, but you should use the tape drivers provided by ArcServe if there are any.

The generic Windows ones often cause trouble, even in a non-virtual environment.

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