VMware bug cramps style

By admin, August 13, 2008 10:24 am

It continues to seem like VMware is set on being their own worst enemy in the battle to dominate the enterprise virtualization market. After firing their CEO, dropping revenue expectations, and doing both just as Microsoft stepped back into the VM game with the release of Hyper-V for Windows Server 2008, it seemed like the company was intent on losing their lead all by themselves, or at least leveling out the playing field for their competition.

Yesterday, it developed that a piece of testing code was left in the company's ESX 3.5 Update 2 patch which, like its own private Y2K bug, would shut down all virtual machines on August 12, 2008. Like Y2K, the first recommended workaround provided was to set the clock back to an earlier date. And just like Y2K, the suggestion was ridiculous, likely to break all sorts of time critical services and flat out shut off Kerberos secured networks.

Fortunately, the Aussies, just the other side of the International Dateline, got hit with the problem first and gave VMware almost 24 hours in which to resolve the issue before it impacted the bulk of their US customer base. A patch is out, and disaster averted. Still, the entire episode is considerably more disconcerting than bugs in other sorts of software. Virtualization, after all, is very much about putting all of ones eggs in one basket, and if the basket has been woven by stoned hippies who have missed a few loops, then enterprises are going to start thinking twice about something which is an already disconcerting concept.

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