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massimiliano.rizzi
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How to properly backup a VM using a DirectPath I/O device

Post by massimiliano.rizzi » Oct 08, 2015 5:56 pm

Hello guys,

I recently deployed a new Microsoft Windows Server 2012 VM that runs a legacy application that looks to a dongle attached to the parallel port.

I had to install an additional PCI Express Parallel Port Card and enable the VT-D technology on the host system, configure the card in "PCI pass-through" mode in order to add it to a VM.

The customer is already using Veeam B&R for the rest of the VMs and needs to use it to backup the new VM as well. Since snapshots are not supported with PCI vSphere Direct Path I/O devices, I am thinking about putting the new VM in a separate job and using a PowerCLI script which will shutdown the VM before starting the corresponding backup job for this VM and power it back on after the backup job completes.

Would anyone see anything wrong with this or suggest another solution to accomplish this task ?

Any help/information will be greatly appreciated.

Thanks and Regards,

Massimiliano

PTide
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Re: How to properly backup a VM using a DirectPath I/O devic

Post by PTide » Oct 08, 2015 6:06 pm

Hi,

That's a valid and workable approach to shut-down a VM in order to take a snapshot. There is a thread where a user had a similar problem, worth checking.

Anders
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Re: How to properly backup a VM using a DirectPath I/O devic

Post by Anders » Oct 16, 2015 9:39 am

Another aproach could be to put the dongle on the Network via a parallel-to-Ethernet converter (I failed to find anything by a quick search, but they might exist) - or a USB-to-Ethernet (I have good experiences with Digi's USBAnywhere) and a USB-parallel converter. that way you get your dongle connected to the virtual machine via TCP/IP - without loosing snapshot/backup functionality, and as a bonus you can get VMWare HA and vMotion features for the VM as well.

I've done many similar solutions for license servers connected to USB dongles.

massimiliano.rizzi
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Re: How to properly backup a VM using a DirectPath I/O devic

Post by massimiliano.rizzi » Oct 18, 2015 10:10 am

Hi guys,

thank you for sharing your thoughts.

@Anders Digi USBAnywhere is a great family of Serial-to-Ethernet and USB-to-Ethernet products. Unfortunately there are no similar solutions that I am aware of for use with dongles attached to the parallel port.

Thank you again for your kind support.

Massimiliano

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