James O'Neill's Blog

August 12, 2008

It’s rude to laugh at other people’s misfortunes – even VMware’s

Filed under: Virtualization,Windows Server — jamesone111 @ 8:26 am

That was one of my mother’s regular sayings when I was young. OK Not the bit about VMware. So I didn’t laugh when I saw a thread on VMware’s community forum entitled BIG bug in ESX 3.5 Update 2 – If you’re using 3.5u2 read this now! – A general system error occurred: Internal Error.

Starting this morning, we could not power on nor VMotion any of our Virtual Machines. The VI Client threw the error "A general system error occurred: Internal Error".
Further digging lead us to messages like this one in /var/log/vmware/hostd.log, and the log file for any virtual machine we tried to power on or VMotion:
Aug 12 10:40:10.792: vmx|
http://msg.License.product.expired This product has expired.

A bit further down another poster comments

Just got off the phone with tech support and they’ve been inudated by calls about this very problem. It only affects ESX and ESXi 3.5 Update 2. Setting the time back a day in ESXi should be ok because if memory serves, VMware Tools will only reset time forward and not backwards.

and at the bottom of the first page of the thread

Dear VMware customers,
We are actively working on rootcausing the problem. Once we know the appropriate action to take here, we’ll provide an update.
Apologies for any inconvenience.
The ESX Product Team

Obviously laughing heartily at this would mean laughing at the Microsoft customers who are also VMware customers. And before poking fun at other people’s bugs one should probably think "there, but for the grace of God go any of us" – and avoid getting into what Steve calls the "Your product sucks" , "No! your product sucks" level of debate. Still, any time I hear someone from VM talk about testing, quality assurance or the like I might just smirk and say "August 12th" under my breath.

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This post originally appeared on my technet blog.

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