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BentleyIT
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Tape Drive recognised by VMware ESXi by can't write to tape from BackupExec in VM

We recently purchased a Dell T710 and installed VMware ESXi v4.1.0 on it. The host currently has 4 virtual machines running on it. One of these virtual machines has a Windows 2003 R2 Server (standard) operating system with Symantec Backup Exec 11d rev.7170 service pack 5 installed and is accessing the IBM Ultrium-HH4 LTO4 internal tape drive via a generic SCSI "pass-through" device configured on the virtual machine hardware. At a physical level the tape drive is connected to its own independant PERC H200 SAS RAID controller. The hypervisor VMware ESXi sees both the controller and tape drive correctly.

The device also appears under the hardware tab in the virtual machine correctly installed with no issues. I have also managed to inventory and catalog tapes succesfully on the Backup Exec virtual server with the Backup Exec device options "Write Single Mode" and "Write SCSI Pass Through Mode" configured. However when I attempt to backup data to tape I get the following error message...

"Backup job fails with the error "0xe00084ee-An invalid command was sent to the storage device."

I have found some knowledge base articles on Symantecs Support site (see http://www.symantec.com/business/support/index?page=content&id=TECH44233) and worked through their solutions but keep getting the same error message. Looking into the matter further I picked up on another article from Symantec (see http://www.symantec.com/business/support/index?page=content&id=TECH130609) that states that VMware only supports attaching SCSI drives to the ESX Server using Adaptec SCSI adapters. Using other adapters, such as LSI MPT Fusion SCSI or RAID controllers is not supported. This is also mentioned in the Additional Information section of the following URL...

http://www.virtualizationteam.com/virtualization-vmware/vsphere-virtualization-vmware/adding-tape-li...


The VMware ESXi system logs error messages given are as follows...

Feb 22 06:29:16 vmkernel: 1:15:03:12.697 cpu14:4110)ScsiDeviceIO: 1672: Command 0x16 to device "naa.500507631208a14d" failed H:0x0 D:0x2 P:0x0 Valid sense data: 0x5 0x49 0x0.

Am I missing out on a configuration option in the PERC H200 controller? Or can someone provide me with documentation on the correct setup of the PERC H200, VMware ESXi and virtual machine hardware configuration to make this work as this user (see URL http://communities.vmware.com/message/1618597) seems to have resolved a similar issue by upgrading his server to a Dell T710.

Thanks

Gali

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6 Replies
AndreTheGiant
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I suggest to use VMDirect Path and give the entire controller to the VM, instead of the single SCSI device.

Andre

Andre | http://about.me/amauro | http://vinfrastructure.it/ | @Andrea_Mauro
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BentleyIT
Contributor
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Hi Andre,

Thanks for your post. When you mention "give the entire controller to the VM instead of the single SCSI device" is this added on the VM hardware list? What type of device would it be.. PCI Device?

Thanks again,

Regards

Gali

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AndreTheGiant
Immortal
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Under Configuration advanced can you see the controller card?

Andre

Andre | http://about.me/amauro | http://vinfrastructure.it/ | @Andrea_Mauro
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BentleyIT
Contributor
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Hi Andre,

Sorted!

Enabled Vt-d on BIOS and configured H200 controller as a "pass-through" device on the virtual host. Removed the SCSI controller device (i.e., the one connected to the tape drive) from the VM and added a PCI device directly to the H200 controller. Booted the VM and installed the necessary drivers in Windows for both the H200 controller and the Tape Drive. Configured the tape drive as a device in BackupExec 12.5 and managed to complete a backup to tape at last Smiley Happy

Thanks again for your help... much appreciated!

Regards

Gali

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dean132
Contributor
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Sorry to dig this up, how did you add the H200 to as a passthrough device I cannot see it listed on mine!!!

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berube
Contributor
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I was able to get the pci-device to passthrough but then get:

Module MemSched power on failed. An error occurred while parsing scheduler-specific configuration parameters. Invalid memory setting for FPT: memory reservation (sched.mem.min) should be equal to memsize (4096)

When I try to increase Memory, I still get error message. I added a H200 Perc card as passthrough to try to recognize a tape drive in windows 2003. Trying the generic scsi failed, so passthrough was mentioned. However, once I added passthrough, the VM will not load based on above message. I have 30 Gig free Server Memory. What am I missing? Adaptecs work great in the generic scsi addition but I don't have the luxury of adding an adaptec card.

By your thread it looks like you got the tape to work as passthrough... looking for an y assistance.

Thanks in advance.

Joshua

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