In the past weeks I came across several applications which needed a USB dongle as hardware license. The problem with virtualization is that such dongles can't be simply plugged to the physical host - what happens when the machines moves (vmotion)?
One of the possible solutions is to forward the USB device via IP. That successfully works with a Digi AnywhereUSB 5, a 5-port USB hub which forwards attached USB devices to one remote host. Yes, only one remote host. And that causes a problem of course. The goal should be to have a USB forwarding machine which can handle different USB devices and forward them to different hosts.
Luckily Digi has also a bigger horse in the race: Digi AnywhereUSB/14, a 14-port USB hub:
This horse eats more (= pricey) but it is much more powerful as well. It has the possibility to define so-called groups to which one or several of the 14 ports can be assigned:
The software on the remote host (the virtual machine) can then be configured to connect to a defined Group Number.
As soon as the software then connects to the IP-USB-Hub, it takes ownership of all USB devices attached to the defined group.
So far I've tested it with two virtual machines, both accessing each one USB device: VM1->Group1->Port1, VM2->Group2->Port2. Works like a charm!
There was one minor issue though. Once the software on the VM successfully connected to the AnywhereUSB device, Windows couldn't find the correct driver for the USB Hub:
This can be solved easily though, as it is marked in this KB entry on the Digi website: http://www.digi.com/support/kbase/kbaseresultdetl.jsp?id=1051.
A missing file (usbd.sys) in the C:\Windows\system32\drivers folder (on W2k3 32bit) causes this problem. A virtual machine doesn't have (by default) a USB controller, therefore the installation of Windows doesn't contain all USB drivers, compared to "normal" installations on physical machines. Just copy the missing file (usbd.sys) from a similar machine (same OS, same architecture) to the VM and restart the machine. The drivers will be working at the next boot.
No comments yet.
AWS Android Ansible Apple Atlassian BSD Backup Bash Bluecoat CMS Chef Cloud Container Containers CouchDB DB DNS Database Databases Docker ELK ElasticSearch Elasticsearch Filebeat FreeBSD GlusterFS Grafana Graphics HAProxy HTML Hacks Hardware Icinga Icingaweb2 InfluxDB Internet Java Kibana Kubernetes LXC Linux Logstash Mac Macintosh Mail MariaDB Minio MongoDB Monitoring Multimedia MySQL NFS Nagios Network Nginx OSSEC OTRS PGSQL PHP Perl Personal PostgreSQL Postgres PowerDNS Proxmox Proxy Rancher SSL Security Shell SmartOS Solaris Surveillance SystemD TLS Tomcat Ubuntu Unix VMware Varnish Virtualization Windows Wireless Wordpress Wyse ZFS Zoneminder