Feeds

VMware admits 'time bomb' rolled past quality control

Glum CEO says 'we're sorry'

Boost IT visibility and business value

VMware’s CEO has blamed a chunk of leftover pre-release code for a bug that yesterday prevented virtual servers around the world from powering up when the clock hit 12 August.

Despite the company carrying out quality assurance of its product, VMware failed to spot that it had released the leftover bit of time-bombed code within the ESX 3.5 and ESXi 3.5 Update 2 final versions of its hypervisors that were released about two weeks ago.

VMware boss Paul Maritz apologised for the major balls-up. He said the code caused the product license to expire. And, worse still, he admitted that the problem had been overlooked in recent patches to the product.

The code time bomb prevented virtual machines from powering on or leaving suspend mode and unable to migrate using the firm's VMotion software.

Maritz said VMware has released an “express patch” for customers unlucky enough to have already installed or upgraded to ESX or ESXi 3.5u2.

Its temporary work-around requires sys admins to turn the clock back to kick-start virtual machines and imagine that 12 August was just a bad dream.

However, as we noted yesterday, a whole swathe of customers have grumbled that this is inadequate since it’s a legal requirement for most businesses to timestamp all server transactions.

The company, which claims to have "the industry’s most popular and reliable hypervisor", also plans to spit out a full replacement for Update 2 that should be used by customers who want to perform fresh installs of ESX or ESXi.

Here are a few choice words from a very sad-looking Maritz:

We are doing everything in our power to make sure this doesn’t happen again. 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. We have kicked off a comprehensive, in-depth review of our QA and release processes, and will quickly make the needed changes.

I want to apologise for the disruption and difficulty this issue may have caused to our customers and our partners. Your confidence in VMware is extremely important to us, and we are committed to restoring that confidence fully and quickly.

Shares in VMware also took a hit yesterday, dipping more than five per cent on the New York Stock Exchange after news broke of the Palo Alto, California-based company's major code cock-up. ®

The essential guide to IT transformation

More from The Register

next story
The Return of BSOD: Does ANYONE trust Microsoft patches?
Sysadmins, you're either fighting fires or seen as incompetents now
Microsoft: Azure isn't ready for biz-critical apps … yet
Microsoft will move its own IT to the cloud to avoid $200m server bill
US regulators OK sale of IBM's x86 server biz to Lenovo
Now all that remains is for gov't offices to ban the boxes
Flash could be CHEAPER than SAS DISK? Come off it, NetApp
Stats analysis reckons we'll hit that point in just three years
Oracle reveals 32-core, 10 BEEELLION-transistor SPARC M7
New chip scales to 1024 cores, 8192 threads 64 TB RAM, at speeds over 3.6GHz
Object storage bods Exablox: RAID is dead, baby. RAID is dead
Bring your own disks to its object appliances
Nimble's latest mutants GORGE themselves on unlucky forerunners
Crossing Sandy Bridges without stopping for breath
prev story

Whitepapers

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup
IT departments are embracing cloud backup, but there’s a lot you need to know before choosing a service provider. Learn all the critical things you need to know.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.
Rethinking backup and recovery in the modern data center
Combining intelligence, operational analytics, and automation to enable efficient, data-driven IT organizations using the HP ABR approach.
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.