Letter from VMware CEO Paul Maritz

by Vitaly Popovich [Published on 13 Aug. 2008 / Last Updated on 13 Aug. 2008]

Last night, we became aware of a code issue with the recently released update to ESX 3.5 and ESXi 3.5 (Update 2). 
When the time clock in a server running ESX 3.5 or ESXi 3.5 Update 2 hits 12:00AM on August 12th, 2008, the released code causes the product license to expire.  The problem has also occurred with a recent patch to ESX 3.5 or ESXi 3.5 Update 2.  When an ESX or ESXi 3.5 server thinks its license has expired, the following can happen:
Virtual machines that are powered off cannot be turned on;
Virtual machines that have been suspended fail to leave suspend mode; and,
Virtual machines cannot be migrated using VMotion.
The issue was caused by a piece of code that was mistakenly left enabled for the final release of Update 2.  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. 
In remedying the situation, we've already released an express patch for those customers that have installed/upgraded to ESX or ESXi 3.5 Update 2.  Within the next 24 hours, we also expect to issue a full replacement for Update 2, which should be used by customers who want to perform fresh installs of ESX or ESXi. 
I am sure you're wondering how this could happen.  We failed in two areas:
Not disabling the code in the final release of Update 2; and
Not catching it in our quality assurance process. 
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 apologize for the disruption and difficulty this issue may have caused to our customers and our partners.  Your confidence in VMware is extremely importan

Last night, we became aware of a code issue with the recently released update to ESX 3.5 and ESXi 3.5 (Update 2). 

When the time clock in a server running ESX 3.5 or ESXi 3.5 Update 2 hits 12:00AM on August 12th, 2008, the released code causes the product license to expire.  The problem has also occurred with a recent patch to ESX 3.5 or ESXi 3.5 Update 2.  When an ESX or ESXi 3.5 server thinks its license has expired, the following can happen:

  • Virtual machines that are powered off cannot be turned on;
  • Virtual machines that have been suspended fail to leave suspend mode; and,
  • Virtual machines cannot be migrated using VMotion.

The issue was caused by a piece of code that was mistakenly left enabled for the final release of Update 2.  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. 

In remedying the situation, we've already released an express patch for those customers that have installed/upgraded to ESX or ESXi 3.5 Update 2.  Within the next 24 hours, we also expect to issue a full replacement for Update 2, which should be used by customers who want to perform fresh installs of ESX or ESXi. 

I am sure you're wondering how this could happen.  We failed in two areas:

  • Not disabling the code in the final release of Update 2; and
  • Not catching it in our quality assurance process. 

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 apologize 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.

Thank You,

Paul Maritz
President and CEO
VMware

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