hi! is it possible to attached a backup tape drive into the esx server itself and configure one of the virtual machine as a backup server(backup software used is backupexec) that will connect to the tape drive? If yes, how to configure such setup? Thanks.
yes you can. Check this kb maybe helpful http://kb.vmware.com/kb/1016407
The only somewhat supported method is to use passthrough with an Adaptec parallel SCSI attached tape or autoloader. Since most tape drives today are SAS you are pretty much on your own unless the manufacturer provides direct support for your device. Some do. It is also possible to us VMdirectpath if your hardware supports it.
I would search the forums using your tape device or SAS / SCSI controller for pointers to configuring your hardware.