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 (image left):
The software on the remote host (the virtual machine) can then be configured to connect to a defined Group Number (image right).
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.
Personal Internet VMware PHP Linux Shell Bluecoat Proxy Windows Hardware Virtualization Nagios MySQL DB Monitoring Mail Android Network Wyse Hacks Tomcat Postgres Apple Mac Backup BSD ZFS Solaris SmartOS Unix Multimedia Perl Database MongoDB CMS OTRS FreeBSD Wordpress LXC Nginx Proxmox DNS Graphics GlusterFS Security Chef HAProxy Icinga Ansible HTML MariaDB Containers Rancher Docker AWS ELK Kibana Logstash Filebeat Varnish PGSQL PostgreSQL ElasticSearch CouchDB Bash Macintosh Container Minio Grafana InfluxDB Databases NFS OSSEC SystemD Java Zoneminder Surveillance Elasticsearch SSL TLS Icingaweb2 Cloud Wireless Kubernetes Ubuntu