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rocker77
Enthusiast
Enthusiast

Extension LPT or USB card in ESX 3.0.2 or 3.5??

Hello,

I would need extension card for instalation HW key to our server. Our IS need HW key and I our new server (Dell PE 2900) don´t have paralel port Smiley Sad

I know, that ESX 3.0.2 don´t support USB ports - what about 3.5 version? Do you know about any extension card with paralel port, which is suppored by ESX?

It is very urgent, thank you!!!

Best regards, Roman

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jhanekom
Virtuoso
Virtuoso

For USB support, you can look at something like the Digi AnywhereUSB product: http://www.digi.com/products/usb/anywhereusb.jsp. The product is a network-attached USB hub, which is great because it interacts well with VMotion and HA. (Once you start running multiple ESX servers, you're not required to move around your USB key every time a VM migrates to another server.)

For parallel support, I'm afraid you're out of luck. Hardware security dongles expect to be able to talk to a real, physical port. Any kind of virtualisation and they suspect you're trying to hack their product, so they'll just not work. (There are several USB-Parallel converters available, but all of them perform some form of virtualisation at the driver level and are only suitable for printers.)

A common practice seems to be to designate one physical Windows machine as a "dongle" machine and try to install all software that require dongles onto it. That way you're still consolidating hardware, even though you don't get all the benefits of ESX.

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rocker77
Enthusiast
Enthusiast

I know AnywhereUSB, but this is quite expesive for us. We have only one ESX server. Do you know about anything cheeper than AnywhereUSB?

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jhanekom
Virtuoso
Virtuoso

Unfortunately not. AnywhereUSB is the only product that has been reported to work well in a virtualised environment. There are other products that virtualise ports on a PC for use by other PC's, but these are aimed more at sharing scanners etc.

It's unfortunate, but I suspect that if you wanted a "cheap" solution, you probably wouldn't have gone with ESX Smiley Happy It's time to ask yourself whether it's worthwhile virtualising this particular application, or whether it should just stay physical for now.

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rocker77
Enthusiast
Enthusiast

Sorry, but I think that ESX server IS cheap solution in version 3.5. In Foundation version and 1000$ customer get everything what he need. Our typical customer have 3-5 servers and now, he can buy one fast server a save money for support of many servers, aircondition, voltage etc etc. Ofcourse, VI could be very expensive solution build on SANs, FC switches using DRS and HA.

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Aftenposten
Enthusiast
Enthusiast

Unfortunately not. AnywhereUSB is the only product that has been reported to work well in a virtualised environment. There are other products that virtualise ports on a PC for use by other PC's, but these are aimed more at sharing scanners etc.

I would not recommend AnywhereUSB because you can only connect 1 server to the AnywhereUSB device, which means you basically waste 3 usb ports unless you have more than one usb device you need to have connected to the virtual (or physical for that matter) server. Keyspan's USB Server allows you to dedicate 1 port to 1 server, which means you can have 4 servers connecting to the Keyspan USB Server, each using a separate USB device connected to Keyspan USB Server. I've been using the Keyspan USB Server for 5 months now without any issues. If you have invested in ESX, hopefully you can spare another $129 to make full use of ESX.