How to properly configure a VMWare ESX virtual machine to use tape devices which are connected to the host server via SCSI Passthrough.
Backup devices that are connected to the host can be connected to the virtual machine using SCSI Pass Through, however there are certain limitations that need to be considered:
For more detailed information on the above limitations, please consult the following VMWare knowledge base articles:
Log onto to a shell prompt on the ESX host and run the following command:
Find the host output from the tape device you are wanting to share and note the SCSI ID. Figure 1 is an example output from an ESX host with a Quantum SDLT 320 tape drive that is on SCSI ID 5:
Step 2. Adding the device to the virtual machine.
When creating a virtual machine using the New Virtual Machine Wizard, select the 'Edit the virtual machine settings before submitting' option (Figure 2) or for an existing virtual machine edit the virtual machine settings and choose to add new hardware (Figure 3).
Choose to add a new SCSI device (Figure 4).
From the connection drop down, select the tape drive or medium changer you are wishing to add. For the Virtual Device Node, select an unused SCSI Port and the SCSI ID that matches the SCSI ID from Step 1 (Figure 5):
NOTE: The SCSI ID must match the physical SCSI ID from the host. It is also important that no other virtual hardware be connected to the same virtual SCSI controller. In the example from Figure 4, the OS volumes were on Port 0, so when the tape drive was configured to use Port 1:SCSI ID 5, ESX automatically created a new virtual SCSI controller for port 1 (Figure 6):
The SCSI port for the tape drive must be a LSI Logic port, and the SCSI Bus Sharing needs to be set to NONE (Figure 7):
Finish the wizard, and the tape devices will now be available to virtual server.