With USB passthrough from a host to a virtual machine, you can migrate a virtual machine to another ESXi host in the same datacenter and maintain the USB passthrough device connections to the original host.

If a virtual machine has USB devices attached that pass through to an ESXi host, you can migrate that virtual machine with the devices attached.

For a successful migration, review the following conditions:

  • You must configure all USB passthrough devices connected to a virtual machine for vMotion. If one or more devices is not configured for vMotion, the migration cannot proceed. For troubleshooting details, see the Troubleshooting USB Passthrough Devices documentation.
  • When you migrate a virtual machine with attached USB devices away from the host to which the devices are connected, the devices remain connected to the virtual machine. However, if you suspend or power off the virtual machine, the USB devices are disconnected and cannot reconnect when the virtual machine is resumed. The device connections can be restored only if you move the virtual machine back to the host to which the devices are attached.
  • If you resume a suspended virtual machine that has a Linux guest operating system, the resume process might mount the USB devices at a different location on the file system.
  • If a host with attached USB devices resides in a DRS cluster with activated distributed power management (DPM), deactivate DPM for that host. Otherwise DPM might turn off the host with the attached device. This action disconnects the device from the virtual machine because the virtual machine migrated to another host.
  • Remote USB devices require that the hosts be able to communicate over the management network following migration with vMotion, so the source and destination management network IP address families must match. You cannot migrate a virtual machine from a host that is registered to vCenter Server with an IPv4 address to a host that is registered with an IPv6 address.