[Blogs] If the shoe fits - Tying it all together

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CT Droid

CT Bot
Over the last couple of weeks I have been finishing up my Hyper-V installation. I re-ghosted the Server 2008 R2 installation that I was working on in my last post and finished configuring Hyper-V. Then I installed 3 Server 2008 R2 Virtual Servers (2 domain Controllers and 1 Exchange server) and 1 Windows XP X64 virtual machine for Premise. I installed Active Directory on the 2 servers and got all the tweaks done on those 2 servers, then got Exchange 2010 installed on the 3rd machine.

Then I set to work on the Premise Server. I installed Premise, then went to work on the FEW items I have to hook up to it at this point. I have a USBUIRT, as Weeder Digital I/O, and a TEMP08 that all have drivers in Premise already, so those seemed like logical places to start. Unfortunately, after poking around in Hyper-V and Google, it seems that there is no way to natively pass a serial port or a USB port from the Hardware machine to a virtual machine in Hyper-V. Great. I read of some other users that were using the AnywhereUSB product from Digi. I hopped on E-bay, only to find they are about $200 for 5 USB ports. That seems low for what I need and I don’t want to end up spending $1000 just to pass some USB ports on to my virtual machine.

I hopped on the internet and started to search for some other solutions, when I came across Fabutech’s “USB over Network†product (http://www.usb-over-network.com/usbnet-solutions/virtual.html). For a license cost of $149, it will pass a usb device on to a different machine (hardware or virtual) as if you just plugged the USB device into it. It took me no time at all to set this up on my server and pass the USBUIRT through to my Premise installation. VERY slick program. I think this will be the way I go, however I am still going to wait until my trial is up before buying the license.

I found some software by Eltima called “Serial to Ethernet Connector†(http://www.eltima.com/products/serial-over-ethernet/). It also has a trial period so trying it was no cost to me. I struggled a little bit to get it working, but it ended up being a pretty good solution. Even though it is licensed per machine, it ends up being only $100 to get all the serial devices passed from my server to my virtual machine. I was able to pass the Temp08 through to the Premise server and get it working with Hyperterm flawlessly. I didn’t have time to try the Weeder, but I’m sure it will be the same results as the Temp08. Same as the USB solution, I think I will be buying, but will wait until the trial expires before spending money.

Now I can start tying things together with Premise, most notably using the USBUIRT to change the input on my component video switch without having to run downstairs to push the button. Although there are about 3 things I crossed off my to-do list, it seems the door has opened with MANY projects now that the base Premise installation is done. This is going to be a busy winter.

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