How To configure a tape device with a virtual machine in ESX 4.0 and ESX 4.1

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  • Article ID:000010619


How To configure a tape device with a virtual machine in ESX 4.0 and ESX 4.1 when the tape device is not visible in the "Device manager" or it appears offline in Backup Exec.

Note:  This configuration has not been tested by Symantec and therefore, this is considered an Alternative Configurations. Our Licensed Software is designed to interoperate with many types of systems, applications, and hardware. Sometimes a customer may choose to use our Licensed Software in an Alternative Configuration, namely, an environment that has not been validated, approved or verified to operate with our Licensed Software or which does not support such Licensed Software or only supports limited functionality. In most cases, we do not support Alternative Configurations, and we have no obligation to provide Support Services to Licensed Software in an Alternative Configuration. Symantec makes no warranty with respect to use of Licensed Software in an Alternative Configuration and any such use is at your own risk. A "Supported Configuration" might be converted into an "Alternative Configuration" where a vendor modifies one of its components that is part of the original "Supported Configuration." As a consequence, your Licensed Software would then be operating in an Alternative Configuration. If you experience a Problem with the Licensed Software in an Alternative Configuration or if your issue deals with script that was not developed by Symantec or an authorized consulting partner, then we may ask you to reproduce the Problem in a Supported Configuration environment. Please note we have no obligation to attempt to resolve Problems that cannot be replicated in a Supported Configuration. However, if the Problem can be replicated in a "Supported Configuration," we will investigate the Problem in that Supported Configuration and attempt to resolve it. If the Problem cannot be replicated in a Supported Configuration, then we may elect not to work on that Problem.

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Improper tape configuration of the tape in ESX.



1)  Verify the Backup Exec Hardware Compatibility list (HCL) to ensure that the tape device and backup software are supported to work with VMware ESX 4.0 and/or ESX 4.1

2)  Configure the tape device and controller according to the hardware vendor's guidelines.

3)  Click on the VMware ESX host which has the hardware connected.

4)  Click Configuration tab > Storage Adapters.

5)  On the Storage Adapters list, identify the controller which has the tape attached.

6)  Under Details, record the Runtime Name of the tape device. For example, vmhba2:C0:T1:L0.

7)  Select the virtual machine that will use the tape device, and click Summary tab > Edit Settings....

8)  Click the Hardware tab > Add.. Select SCSI Device from the list of device types and click Next.

9)  Select the appropriate device from the SCSI Device drop down list.

10) Select the Virtual Device Node which matches the Adapter and Target of the Runtime Name of the device, as recorded in step 6. The Virtual Device Nodes are denoted as <Bus>:<Target>. For example, the Runtime Name vmhba2:C0:T1:L0 corresponds with a Virtual Device Node of (1:1), (2:1), or (3:1).

11)  For clarification, (0:1) is also available for configuration. However this bus is usually already populated by a virtual disk in a typical virtual machine setup. As tape operations by nature are quite disruptive for devices on the same bus, to avoid interruption, ensure the tape devices' target IDs are on a separate bus from the other virtual machine disks attached to the virtual machine. For example, bus (0:x) can have several virtual machine disks, while bus (1:x) has the tape pass-through device(s).






  • As of v Sphere 4.0, ESX only supports connectivity to parallel SCSI tape libraries.
  • VMware only supports the attaching of Parallel SCSI based tape Devices to an Adaptec SCSI Controller
  • The hardware manufacturer must support vmware pass-through for the hardware device.

Configuring tape drives and media changers on ESX 3.x

Applies To

ESX 4.0 and ESX 4.1


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