There is a specific piece of Engineering software running on an XP box in our environment that requires a parallel port dongle to run. We do not have the disks to re-install the software, and the company does not want to pay to upgrade to the latest version of the software since it is being used with very old shop machinery. The hardware in this workstation is about to fail, and we need a DR strategy / preventive maintenance to get that machine virtualized as soon as possible.
I need to know if anyone has successfully passed a parallel port to a VM on ESXi and how you did it. I have some ideas but am not sure they will work with ESXi (5.1 or 5.5):
- USB to parallel adapter plugged into host
- PCIe card with parallel port in the host
There's no way to change this dongle from parallel to another connectivity method for the moment.
I guess I could test the USB to parallel adapter on the workstation the software runs on now, but I have no guarantee it would work in ESXi if it did work on the workstation.
The only other real option I see is to get a workstation with a parallel port in it and run ESXi on it with the XP machine as a VM or just put XP on the physical box. I don't like either of those options and can't really transfer the software to another physical box anyway.
Any help is much appreciated.