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Thin Client and Virtual Machines Thread, Vsphere in Technical; Afternoon all, We've just upgraded to Vsphere 4 for our virtualisation. As part of this, I've been led to believe ...
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    Vsphere

    Afternoon all,

    We've just upgraded to Vsphere 4 for our virtualisation. As part of this, I've been led to believe that virtual servers can now recognise/have assigned to them usb devices that have been plugged into the physical server.

    Has anyone done this? Is it actually possible?

    The reason for asking is I'm trying to install Solidworks onto a virtual server, and sadly they use a USB dongle for licensing purposes :-( I guess if this is impossible them I'm going to have to install the software onto either our backup server or our Sims server, neither of which I'm particularly keen on doing.

    Any suggestions, gratefully received as always.

    Iain

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    Forget the original request, now found some write ups of vsphere whereby the functionality to allow this has been removed from the current release. Apparently it will be made available in the future but they can't say when.

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    Is this a dedicated server for this program?

    If so grab a copy of VMWare Workstation (Even the trial should work), build the server and install / activate the software on there since it has USB support then you can just send it up to the ESX server

    You can also download the server off the ESX, import it into Workstation, activate it etc then upload it back up but it is a more complicated process and would probably involve some downtime.
    Last edited by googlemad; 16th December 2009 at 04:28 PM.

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    What you need is a network based USB hub, I've deployed these a few time for dongles and they work well.

    [ame="http://www.amazon.co.uk/USB-Server-Sharing-Deviceses-LAN/dp/B0001NA3L2"]Keyspan 4-port USB Server: Amazon.co.uk: Electronics & Photo[/ame] (Out of stock at Amazon, but I'm sure Google will help)
    Last edited by apaton; 16th December 2009 at 10:28 PM. Reason: Typo

  5. 2 Thanks to apaton:

    diggory (18th June 2010), john (17th December 2009)

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    Yeah, we've done it with a Belkin Network USB Hub, works fine with the Solidworks USB dongle and our Sibelius one.

  7. 2 Thanks to teejay:

    diggory (18th June 2010), john (17th December 2009)

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    Brilliant - just the same problem I have encountered...

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    The 2010 version of solidworks no longer uses a dongle for activation purposes.

    Ben

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    Nice one Ben, I shall be working on getting the Technology department to upgrade to the 2010 release :-)

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    If anyone is still struggling with dongles on virtual servers and doesn't want to shell out some cash, this might be handy:
    How To Modify Your Gnu/Linux Box To Serve As A USB Over IP Server | HowtoForge - Linux Howtos and Tutorials
    Just of to try it out with an old machine and a debian5 CD...

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    diggory's Avatar
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    Managed to get the dongle working for a virtual server running windows 2003.
    The dongle was plugged into an old PC running debian linux and the usbip server.
    I did need to update the kernel, as you need >= 2.6.28 for support for usb over ip.
    Apart from the link above, the following link was useful for the windows side:
    How To Modify Your Gnu/Linux Box To Serve As A USB Over IP Server | HowtoForge - Linux Howtos and Tutorials

    I imagine it could be used for other dongles and usb access for virtual machines.

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