VMware virtual machines on all hosts with the company's
latest hypervisor, ESX 3.5 Update 2, in enterprise configurations
have found that it will not power on after being turned
The hypervisor refuses to start when the date is 12 August, with
customers around the world discovering the problem as midnight was
passed in their time zones.
A flaw in the VMware licensing code is responsible, according to
Martin Niemar, group manager of virtual infrastructure product
marketing at VMware, the most popular player in virtualisation.
"We had an issue with 3.5 Update 2. It's actually a licensing
problem," said Niemar. "Currently, what we know is that licensing
prevents new virtual machines from powering up after shutdowns, and
it prevents virtual motioning, moving a virtual machine from one
host to another."
Niemar said that VMware did not have a patch, but was working on
one as a "top priority".
"Customers should not stop virtual machines. Keep virtual
machines going until we release a patch," said Niemar. "You can
also move the clock backwards on the server."
Some organisations cannot turn server clocks back for legal or
technical reasons. Niemar said that, if customers have to turn
machines off, and cannot turn clocks back, there is currently no
fix. Niemar could not commit to a timescale for a patch, nor could
he comment on forum claims that the fix will first be available to
customers as a complete re-installation from ISO or TAR images,
with a patch for installed code coming later.
"We understand the bug," he said.
VMware first learnt of the issue when Asia-Pacific customers
started to come online on 12 August.
Technical issues have been discussed on the VMware communities
One poster stated VMware had told them that "VMware engineering
has isolated the root cause of this issue and will reissue the
various upgrade media, including the ESX 3.5 Update 2 ISO, ESXi 3.5
Update 2 ISO, ESX 3.5 Update 2 upgrade TAR and ZIP files by noon,
PST, on 13 August. These will be available from the page:
http://www.vmware.com/download/vi. Until then, VMware advises
against upgrading to ESX/ESXi 3.5 Update 2. The Update patch
bundles will be released separately, later in the week."
At the time of writing, this was unable to be confirmed.