VMware's Virtual Mea Culpa

VMware looks to make amends for its buggy hypervisor

August 16, 2008

2 Min Read
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Good to see that VMware has jumped onto its hypervisor bug, which became public earlier this week.

On Tuesday the vendor reported a major flaw in its latest hypervisor update that prevented customers from turning on virtual machines, no laughing matter considering the current popularity of virtualization.

The issue was caused by a piece of code that was mistakenly left enabled for the final release of Update 2,” explained VMware CEO Paul Maritz, in a letter published that day. “This piece of code was left over from the pre-release versions of Update 2 and was designed to ensure that customers are running on the supported generally available version of Update 2.”

The VMware CEO, who took over from the ousted Diane Greene last month explained that VMware had issued an express patch for customers that have installed/upgraded to ESX or ESXi 3.5 Update 2, and promised a full imminent replacement for Update 2.

What is interesting, though, is how this will impact the world of virtualization in the long-term.“VMware prides itself on the quality and reliability of our products, and this incident has prompted a thorough self-examination of how we create and deliver products to our customers,” added Maritz, in his letter. “We have kicked off a comprehensive, in-depth review of our QA and release processes, and will quickly make the needed changes.”

VMware may just have received a valuable wake-up call at a time when users are looking to do more and more with virtual machines. As Bogomil Balkansky, VMware’s senior director of product marketing told Byte and Switch earlier in the summer; “in a few years’ time, every server will be virtualized.”

Painful though this week’s experiences were (particularly for users wrestling with the hypervisor bug), over the long term, we should end up with a much more robust virtual world.

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