Although not officially supported by VMware, we have discovered a configuration that works with SAS Tape Drives that are directly connected to an ESX 4.1 Host. VMware only officially supports U320 Tape Drives, not the newer SAS tape drives. Unfortunately the newer tape drives like the HP LTO5 drive are only available with the newer SAS or Fibre Channel interfaces. Here are the details:
    • HP SC44Ge Host Bus Adapter Card Part Number 416096-B21. This is the only card we know that works with a SAS Tape drive.
    • If you're using an external drive, you must purchase a SAS cable that has a SFF-8470 (computer) and SFF-8088 (tape drive).
    • HP External LTO5 drive.
    • ESX 4.1 with Update 1.
    • Backup Exec 2010 with the RALUS Agent.
    • Run the following command on the ESX Console:


esxcli nmp satp deleterule --satp VMW_SATP_ALUA --claim-option tpgs_on

vSphere 4.1 changed the way tape drives are handled, so you must run this command in order for the VM to see the tape drive.


Using this configuration you should be able to add the SCSI tape drive to a VM running on the ESX host. 


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