USB anywhere hubAt the client site that I’m currently working they are using these USB anywhere hubs from Digi. These USB hubs give you the ability to use USB on virtual machines over a TCP/IP connection. Each USB hub can service one virtual machine and holds up to 4 USB ports.

The down side of these USB hubs is that they can take up quite some room in the datacenter. The currently used type  isn’t rack mountable and for each virtual machine you  need a new USB hub, even if you don’t use all 4 ports.

New USB anywhere hubToday a colleague mentioned that there is a new hub released by Digi. This USB hub is rack mountable and has 14 USB ports available. For each virtual machine you can set the number of ports you want assign to it. The USB hub allows for multiple virtual machines to connect to it and therefor you can make efficient use of all ports.

The new USB hub also allows for connecting 2 network cables and has 2 power supplies so that it is more reliable for use in a datacenter.

Summary of the specs:

  • Network Attached USB Hub easily connects remote USB device(s) to a LAN.
  • Ideal for connecting USB devices over the network in virtualized environments such as VMware and Microsoft virtualized environments.
  • AnywhereUSB/14 rack mountable product has two built-in power supplies and two Ethernet connections for redundancy.
  • Access and monitor USB and serial devices over a TCP/IP connection.
  • Compatible with bulk or interrupt type USB devices such as bar-code scanners, printers, fingerprint scanners, mice, pole displays, card rea ders, flash drives, security keys, and more. – Watchport sensors and Edgeport USB-to-serial converters are also fully compatible with AnywhereUSB.
  • Multi-host Connections, This feature allows multiple host PCs to establish connections with the Anywhere USB hub concurrently, where each PC takes ownership of a group of USB ports on the Anywhere USB Hub.

At this moment the client is reviewing if they want to replace the current USB hubs with the new version.