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The network consists of 2 VM hosts, host A and host B running vSphere 5.0.x, and a physical server that a single Dell LTO-4 tape drive is connected to via SAS through an added PCI card.

What would be the ideal method to connect this tape drive to the virtual backup server?

I have read that in vSphere 4.x using DirectPath I/O will disable taking snapshots of the virtual server that DirectPath is enabled on and also will not allow you to move this server with vMotion.

Can anyone confirm or deny if the DirectPath I/O issues persist in vSphere 5 and if they do, what is another viable option that can be taken?

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Assuming you're interested in connecting the drive to ONE of the physical servers, I would bypass the DirectPath I/O and just use SCSI Passthrough to the virtual machine you intend to use for backups. That involves adding a virtual SCSI device to the individual VM.

VMWare has step-by-step instructions for this here.

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Thank you very much. I will take this into consideration when I start reconfiguring my network and comment my results when I do. – CokaKola99 Oct 4 '11 at 17:38

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