Configuring vendor-supported tape drives and media changers on ESX/ESXi 4.x and later (1016407)
The instructions provided in this article are offered to help you configure vendor-supported tape drives and media changers so that virtual machines on ESX/ESXi 4.x and later hosts can access these devices. These instructions are provided with the following caveats:
- VMware does not provide support for backup tape drives and tape library devices or their functionality on ESX/ESXi hosts.
- The functionality of the tape library and the backup software in conjunction with VMware ESX/ESXi is partner-supported.
- VMware assumes that the third-party vendor has completed necessary validation to support this configuration in a production environment.
- VMware does not maintain a hardware compatibility guide that includes tested tape devices.
- Devices and configurations that worked on earlier releases of ESX/ESXi might not work with later ESXi releases.
To configure a tape device with a virtual machine in ESX/ESXi 4.x and later:
- Consult your backup hardware and software vendor to ensure that your tape device and backup software are supported to work with VMware ESX/ESXi 4.x and later.
- Configure the tape device and controller according to the hardware vendor's guidelines.
- Connect the vSphere Client to vCenter Server or an ESX/ESXi host.
- Click the ESX/ESXi host to which the hardware is connected.
- Click Configuration > Storage Adapters.
- On the Storage Adapters list, identify the controller that has the tape attached.
- Under Details, record the Runtime Name of the tape device (for example,
vmhba2:C0:T1:L0). For more information about the Runtime Name, see Identifying disks when working with VMware ESX (1014953).
- Select the virtual machine that use the tape device, and click Summary > Edit Settings.
- Click Hardware > Add.
- Select SCSI Device from the list of device types and click Next.
- Select the appropriate device from the SCSI Device drop down menu.
- Select the Virtual Device Node that matches the Target of the Runtime Name of the device, as recorded in step 7.
The Virtual Device Nodes are denoted as
Example: the Runtime Name
vmhba2:C0:T1:L0corresponds with a Virtual Device Node of
(3:1)as the Target is
Warning: 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 that 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).
- Install and configure the backup software according to the software vendor's guidelines.
Note: ESX/ESXi supports vendor-supported parallel SCSI tape drives and tape libraries only. If you are using a tape drive library (versus using a stand-alone tape drive), the library must be multi-target, and not multi-LUN. Ensure that the tape drive's virtual target ID in the virtual machine's configuration is set to be the same as the physical target ID.
Note: As per the vSphere 5.x Release Notes, VMware does not support Tape Drives connected directly to ESXi 5.x.
Requirements while configuring vendor-supported tape drives and media changers
- The tape hardware must be connected to a VMWare-supported Adaptec SCSI controller.
- The tape hardware must be SCSI ID addressed and cannot be LUN addressed.
- The virtual and physical SCSI IDs must match each other.
- Tape devices should not share a BUS with any other non-tape device and should be given their own dedicated SCSI controller.
- The SCSI controller for the guest virtual machine should be configured as a LSI Logic SCSI card and not the BUS logic card.
- BUS sharing must be disabled.
- Fiber connected tape devices are not supported.
- Tape devices cannot be connected to RAID controllers.
- Identifying disks when working with VMware ESX/ESXi
- Tape device incorrectly detected as ALUA device on ESX/ESXi hosts
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