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Has anyone successfully used SCSI mapping to present a SCSI tape drive to a VM for backup purposes? My servers do not support VMDirectIO (VT-d), so I can't present the PCI device to the VM, and my Adaptec 39160 is not supported in ESXi4. Before I spend $300 on a replacement card -- I want to be sure others have even found it possible to do this.

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Bought a 39360 for $100 and it works like a charm with SCSI passthrough.

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really, that's interesting, I've never tried to do that myself as we use VCB but good news - what OS and software did you use in the VM to talk to the drive? – Chopper3 Jan 15 '10 at 9:13
Win2k3, Backup Exec 10, ESXi 4, and ESXi 4u1 – SirStan Feb 3 '10 at 5:33

I have a Adaptec SCSI Card 29320LPE, using pass-through on ESXi with up-to-date "firmware" (VMware OS). Works fine.

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It must be in VMware Compatibility Guide, or you have to use VMDirectPath. No third option.

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Are you sure this is the way to go? VMware doesn't support such configuration and neither several data protection vendors. It can be very tricky to troubleshoot too.

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So if you can't do DirectIO how do you plan for your ESXi box to address this tape drive? Don't forget with ESXi there's now COS to load any drivers/code.

Presumably you've got the free version (?) in which case you don't have a VCB license, if so I think you'd be better off backup up via the to a second machine with the tape drive.

Let us know more detail and we'll try to think of some other options ok.

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I know this may not be ideal but why not use a seperate server for backups running say bacula which connects and manages the tape drive. Then install the client on all of the vms. Now you have a decent backup infrastructure. Granted you need another machine but this seems like it may do what you want.

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