Expert
Expert

USB hard disk passthrough to VM?

Anyone here tried to give a VM access to a USB hard disk that is directly connected to an ESXi 4.1 server?

I found through google search some users who talked about this feature wreaking havoc with an ESXi box that is booted from an SD card that is USB connected. That is what I have - but I also have a large amount of data that I need to get copied into a new VM - and mounting the USB to a physical server and robocopying over the network is taking forever.

So - if I connect a USB drive to the ESXi host - what do I have to do to setup passthrough? And have the issues that others have reported (making all vms and the host slow, forcing reboots down to the host level, etc ...) still present issues, or should it "just work"?

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4 Replies
Immortal
Immortal

Hello.

I'm not sure about these issues, but you can start with kb 1022290 for the setup.  How much data are you talking about?

Good Luck!

Brian Atkinson | vExpert | VMTN Moderator | Author of "VCP5-DCV VMware Certified Professional-Data Center Virtualization on vSphere 5.5 Study Guide: VCP-550" | @vmroyale | http://vmroyale.com
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Virtuoso
Virtuoso

USB passthrough speed isn't great - probably better to hook it up to a GbE connected box and copy over the LAN.  More here:

http://blog.peacon.co.uk/usb-passthrough-with-esxi-4-1/

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Immortal
Immortal

As written by J1mbo the actual USB virtualization is just a USB 1.1 version.

So performance will be very poor for a hard disk.

Andre

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

We had exactly the same problem when passing through USB in a server with a SD card. Now we backup to a Thecus 4200eco. We've connected an USB drive with NTFS to this NAS and we copy the data from NAS to this USB with good performance (> 90GB/hr)

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