Beta
×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Massive VMware Bug Shuts Systems Down

CmdrTaco posted more than 6 years ago | from the at-least-it-only-shut-down-the-virtual-ones dept.

Bug 410

mattmarlowe writes "Imagine if Red Hat released a version of Linux, and after it was deployed, customers noticed that any processes with a start date of today would refuse to run? Well, that's what happened to VMware — a company that wants nearly all server applications running in virtual machines within a matter of years." Supposedly a fix will be available ... in 36 hours.

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

License Management Software!? (5, Insightful)

bigtallmofo (695287) | more than 6 years ago | (#24567561)

I don't get license management measures in software that is only going to be used by major corporations.

If someone wants to run virtual machines at home or in a small business, they're likely going to be more than satisfied with VMWare Virtual Server (formerly GSX) and wouldn't even consider the much more complex ESX.

In a major corporation, fear of massive fines and prosecution is enough to stop them from pirating your software. Hardware dongles, software license managers and the like only hurt your paying customers.

Re:License Management Software!? (5, Interesting)

db32 (862117) | more than 6 years ago | (#24567659)

Exactly. It is a tremendous pain in the ass to track all the stupid license keys and crap in use. Departments frequently need software specific to only their department and outside the scope of normal IT support stuff. Phone numbers, licenses, etc. God forbid any of those companies get purchased or go under, then you are stuck with expensive software that you cannot recover.

The call home variety is extremely infuriating. On top of whatever nonsense key/activation crap you have to go through, you have to put up with it trying to call home or deactivating itself. MS isn't the only guilty party in this, but those bastards certainly made the situation much worse.

Re:License Management Software!? (4, Insightful)

rudeboy1 (516023) | more than 6 years ago | (#24567837)

Good god do I hear you, brother. I work IT for a legal firm. So many little apps no one else in IT has ever even heard of. And most of them, you're talking to the same guy for support that developed it, and filled the sales order. Out of his basement or garage. Multi-million dollar a year law firm, and it can be brought to its knees if one of our obscure applications goes down and needs support, and the one guy that can support it is out taking his kids to soccer practice.

I'm looking at you North Winds Software. I'll BUY a support contract! If you offered such a thing. If you answered the phone.

I need to go back to bed. :(

Re:License Management Software!? (4, Insightful)

Gordonjcp (186804) | more than 6 years ago | (#24568129)

I'm looking at you North Winds Software. I'll BUY a support contract! If you offered such a thing. If you answered the phone.

There's an Ask Slashdot for you. Is there something out there that can replace this magic bit of software? Is anyone interested in writing an Open-Source equivalent?

Re:License Management Software!? (3, Interesting)

drachenstern (160456) | more than 6 years ago | (#24568763)

The more important variant of that question is does the parent want to share enough of the details of operation (clean room style) to get someone to want to write an OS equiv.

Don't misunderstand me, I like to write code, but if I don't know what the hole looks like, I can't carve a peg to fit it...

Re:License Management Software!? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24568841)

Which will help his support problems in what way? It's not about the software, its about the service and support, and most OSS short of the operating system has zero support outside of newsgroups.

Re:License Management Software!? (5, Funny)

swabeui (1291044) | more than 6 years ago | (#24568773)

I'm looking at you North Winds Software. I'll BUY a support contract! If you offered such a thing. If you answered the phone.

North Winds Software? Just a WILD guess... is this 'software' based on MS Access? I wonder where they got the company name from...

Re:License Management Software!? (2, Interesting)

Bert64 (520050) | more than 6 years ago | (#24568193)

It's a typical case of companies shooting themselves in the foot.
Freely available software is already compelling enough and gradually taking over many markets, adding additional artificial costs just serves to make the free/oss option even more attractive.

Re:License Management Software!? (3, Insightful)

db32 (862117) | more than 6 years ago | (#24568573)

There is a WIDE WIDE range of things that don't exist in the F/OSS world yet. The killer problem seems to be inherent in the way F/OSS works. Industry specific things frequently don't happen unless people from that industry also happen to be coders. Outside of the inherent difficulty in writing software for an industry you don't understand, most geeks don't bother to learn about other industries and instead assume that they should all operate the same way IT does.

Re:License Management Software!? (4, Insightful)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 6 years ago | (#24567735)

Exactly. Most large companies usually have an entire person, and sometimes multiple people dedicated to nothing but license management.

What a colossal waste of money.

Re:License Management Software!? (3, Insightful)

shawn(at)fsu (447153) | more than 6 years ago | (#24567801)

I really don't think the fines would keep large corporations in line. look at all the stuff you see big business doing that they know is illegal and that they know will land them big fines if they get caught. Software piracy is no different. In fact it's probably easier to use a pirated piece of software than it is to dump illegal chemicals or defraud investors. You can manage the exposer.

Re:License Management Software!? (2, Informative)

Cyberax (705495) | more than 6 years ago | (#24568079)

LARGE corporations usually just buy site licenses. It's easier for them this way.

Re:License Management Software!? (1)

camcorder (759720) | more than 6 years ago | (#24568471)

Not only easier, but also they don't care about expense which is shown as 'investment' on their balance sheet. Big companies are already profitable bussinesses and instead of paying more tax to government they tend to buy expensive 'site' licenses even though they actually don't need it.

Re:License Management Software!? (1)

jandrese (485) | more than 6 years ago | (#24568611)

Of course it's the site license system that came around and bit VMWare in the ass here.

Re:License Management Software!? (1)

John Hasler (414242) | more than 6 years ago | (#24568109)

> Software piracy is no different.

Yes it is. The returns are miniscule.

Re:License Management Software!? (2, Interesting)

kungfugleek (1314949) | more than 6 years ago | (#24568231)

Maybe it's easier to get away with dumping chemicals and defrauding investors because of the numbers and motives of the people involved:
  • Defrauding investors only involves the highest level executives, and they keep that kind of thing pretty secret.
  • Dumping chemicals isn't watched as carefully as Windows licenses (for an example) and I doubt the ones who order it or the ones doing it are motivated to talk about it.

In the case of pirated software, especially something widely used in the company, there would be a lot of eyes (the software vendor watching like a hawk), and a lot of support calls attracting attention from said vendor. Piracy probably happens more on small scales though, where, like you said, you can manage the exposure.

Re:License Management Software!? (1)

JasterBobaMereel (1102861) | more than 6 years ago | (#24568687)

Dumping Chemicals - If the fines are less than what you are saving ... then keep dumping ...

Re:License Management Software!? (1)

afabbro (33948) | more than 6 years ago | (#24568321)

I really don't think the fines would keep large corporations in line.

And yet, it does. Of all the Fortune 500 companies in which I've worked, I never saw any piracy. The risk/reward is too out of whack for big companies to consider it. Sure, you get some guy in the PC support department who burns himself a copy of Microsoft Office for home or something - that is unavoidable - but I never saw any piracy in companies.

Re:License Management Software!? (1)

Jim_Maryland (718224) | more than 6 years ago | (#24568455)

While I can see your point, I can say that my employer (over 10,000 employees) does use tools to monitor what is installed on their network. They do, as another reply suggested, frequently opt for enterprise licenses for typical software and tend to limit access to computers so users can't install any software. Those that have access are required to acknowledge a policy that states they won't download/install software without prior approval too. Now I don't know if this is typical for all large companies, but it does match what I saw at my 3 previous employers (ranging from about 300 employees to 800 employees). The smaller companies I was with were just less sophisticated (no tools, but random audits) about monitoring the systems. They all had policies in place though that said "users can't install unapproved software".

Re:License Management Software!? (1)

TheVelvetFlamebait (986083) | more than 6 years ago | (#24568479)

It's the average corporation's sociopathic assessment of crime: if the opportunity costs outweigh the benefits, then they don't do it. Otherwise, they go for it. Software piracy may be a small offence compared with illegal dumping, but it can potentially be extremely costly for the amount of money it saves. Look at the RIAA for crying out loud.

Re:License Management Software!? (5, Interesting)

_merlin (160982) | more than 6 years ago | (#24568075)

Having administered ESX, I can say the license management is useful for one thing: it helps you ensure you aren't exceeding what you're licensed for. For example, if you aren't licensed for multi-processor boxes, it will complain until you get a valid license. If nothing else, it gives you some confidence that you will pass an audit.

License management is also useful for things like MATLAB and OPNET that are licensed per concurrent user: you can install on as many machines as you like, but they need to be able to talk to your license server (not that this is _your_ license server on your network - it isn't "calling home") to ensure that the number of concurrent users is below the maximum allowed. That way, if say, everyone needs to be able to run OPNET occasionally, but not very often, everyone can install it, but you only need to pay for a few licenses. You know you aren't exceeding your licenses because it won't let you launch more instances than you're allowed simultaneously. If your users regularly complain that they can't fire up OPNET due to lack of licenses, you pay for a few more seats.

On the other hand, I can't stand software that calls home to ensure that it's "genuine" a la Windows Vista, or those stupid CD copy protection schemes. That's bullshit. Things like that make more work for a sysadmin, not less. I only like license management when it helps me, the admin; I don't care what it does or doesn't do for the software vendor. I'm a selfish pig, I know.

Another thing I can't stand is things like Rational Purify where they attempt to count your "activations" at their end: when you install Purify, it increases the installed count in IBM's system, and decreases it when you uninstall. If the IBM server thinks you're using all your licenses, you can't install. Too bad people always forget to uninstall Purify before wiping their computers for a clean OS install (or scrapping the computers)! And don't get me started on how bad it is to deal with IBM's phone support. This is one copy protection scheme that I do bypass: I install Purify in a VMware virtual machine, snapshot it, uninstall Purify, and roll the virtual machine back to the snapshot. That way, Purify will work in the virtual machine, but IBM's servers will think I haven't used any of my licenses. Also, I can make copies of the virtual machine for multiple people to use. It's easier for me to track the licences than put up with a crap license management scheme.

Re:License Management Software!? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24568331)

That way, Purify will work in the virtual machine, but IBM's servers will think I haven't used any of my licenses. Also, I can make copies of the virtual machine for multiple people to use. It's easier for me to track the licences than put up with a crap license management scheme.

Maybe you should have posted anonymously...

Re:License Management Software!? (2, Interesting)

Bert64 (520050) | more than 6 years ago | (#24568339)

But then if your license server is down the software won't run, creating an artificial and unnecessary dependency. Similarly if people leave it running they can denial of service other users.

Plus you have the additional unnecessary cost of the license server, the hardware it runs on, the os it runs on (assuming its not free), the power it consumes and the time required to keep it running and updated.

License management doesn't help you, it hinders you... If you use software where the license says you can install it on as many machines as you want and use as many instances as you like, you don't need to worry... You can install it on as many systems as you want, with as many processors as you want, without any artificial restrictions and without having to do any nasty hacks.

The same can be said of pirate software, it typically has all these onerous schemes hacked out, making it a better proposition than the original.

Re:License Management Software!? (1)

emag (4640) | more than 6 years ago | (#24568717)

But then if your license server is down the software won't run, creating an artificial and unnecessary dependency. Similarly if people leave it running they can denial of service other users.

I'm pretty sure that, at least in the *nix world of license servers, they're already capable of clustering. ie, you have 2-3 license servers that talk to each other, and if 1 goes down, the other 2 continue serving up licenses.

Not that we're actually doing this with our license servers, but at least FlexLM (and Nagios' FlexLM monitor) seem to think it's possible to do.

Re:License Management Software!? (4, Insightful)

supersnail (106701) | more than 6 years ago | (#24568097)

Actually its quite a common policy in MegaCorps to reject software that require machine specific or expiring license keys for use in "Mission Critical" applications.

The backup server not having the correct licenses is one of the biggest risks in a Disaster Recovery.

Migration to newer better hardware also becomes a nightmare where license keys are involved -- what do you mean the new server doesnt have centronics port for the dongle?

Its also screws up the companys virtualisation strategy as you have no idea whether a given license scheme will work in inside a VM or not.

Do like the Fortune 500 and just say no to runtime licenses.
       

Re:License Management Software!? (1)

Courageous (228506) | more than 6 years ago | (#24568755)

Actually its quite a common policy in MegaCorps to reject software that require machine specific or expiring license keys for use in "Mission Critical" applications.

--------------

Yes. I usually tell our enterprise software sales people: 1) how much we intend to pay for their software, 2) the manner in which we will accept licensing.

If they won't play ball on either front, usually I'm looking somewhere else.

Doesn't always work, though. Take VMWare, for instance. _Bastards_. :-)

Re:License Management Software!? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24568557)

That's true. I had to implement a licensing system for software only going to some big companies, and my number one priority was to make sure it wouldn't get in their way. So it felt quite pointless.

However, if you have no licensing enforcement mechanism, how do your customers even know if they are in violation? As you said, these big companies want to be in compliance of licensing terms, but they can't be expected to consult their legal department every time some software is run to ensure they are in compliance. So, in that sense, that hardware dongle is an easy way for customer to know that they are operating within the terms of the software license. It might suck for the guy actually using the software, but it's probably good for the company he is working for.

damn it! we've been lied to again! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24567565)

oh, the humanity [msn.com]

Can't start processes? (5, Funny)

oldspewey (1303305) | more than 6 years ago | (#24567591)

any processes with a start date of today would refuse to run? Supposedly a fix will be available... in 36 hours.

Good thing the fix will be available tomorrow, because if it was available today nobody would be able to run the update process

Re:Can't start processes? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24567711)

There probably is no "fix" they are just waiting for the problem to go away

I can just see the programmers reaction when he sees the bug report.

"so the process wont start if it has todays date? hmm.." he then proceeds to set the target date for tomorrow and takes the day off

Re:Can't start processes? (1)

jebrew (1101907) | more than 6 years ago | (#24568269)

wait for it...wait for it...

what do you expect? (5, Insightful)

larry bagina (561269) | more than 6 years ago | (#24567611)

Who knows what else is lurking in their code base? Certainly not me or you -- we can't see it. We're at their mercy to find and fix problems.

I stick to virtualbox. I'm not going to pretend I've audited the source code, but if I need to, I can.

Say YES to freedom.

Re:what do you expect? (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24567721)

Then give me USB support in VirtualBox. Cause I kinda need that the most.

Re:what do you expect? (2, Funny)

mweather (1089505) | more than 6 years ago | (#24567803)

My office super glued all the USB ports shut, so that's not really a consideration.

Re:what do you expect? (2, Funny)

gardyloo (512791) | more than 6 years ago | (#24567893)

Actually, that office buys computers from 17-year-old boys. That's not glue.

Re:what do you expect? (2, Funny)

DaemonDazz (785920) | more than 6 years ago | (#24568819)

(-1: Ewww)

Re:what do you expect? (1)

EvilMonkeySlayer (826044) | more than 6 years ago | (#24568691)

I've always found that somewhat funny, a determined person will easily find a way to get data outside of a company. Hell, open up a web browser and email it to yourself via a plethora of webmail sites.

Since most office workers aren't the brightest bunch you could disable USB in the BIOS and password it, you could also disable USB in the device manager in windows and set the users as normal (non local administrator) accounts.

Re:what do you expect? (3, Insightful)

tlacuache (768218) | more than 6 years ago | (#24567931)

I've heard people say this, and I'm honestly curious... what exactly do you need USB for in your virtual machines? Printing? Webcam? I use VirtualBox basically so I can run a few Windows-only apps. For copying files between the host and the guest I use SCP. I print over the network. I'm not trolling, I'm honestly curious. What USB hardware do you need in your VMs?

Re:what do you expect? (4, Informative)

ray-auch (454705) | more than 6 years ago | (#24568039)

USB license dongle for the application software running on the VM.

Seriously. Last week.

Re:what do you expect? (1)

baadger (764884) | more than 6 years ago | (#24568065)

For me it is webcam/video messaging.

My webcam is supported through a shoddy out of tree kernel driver that produces unusable images with terrible picture quality.

Re:what do you expect? (1)

cerberusss (660701) | more than 6 years ago | (#24568589)

Even if your webcam is fully supported in-kernel on Linux, with which software are you going to use it? MSN? Hehheh. Skype? Still lots of incompatibilities. Ekiga? None of your friends use it.

Lots of reasons to use a cam under Windows.

Re:what do you expect? (1)

LWATCDR (28044) | more than 6 years ago | (#24568085)

In the industry I am in there is a lot of hardware devices that you must use and some of those use USB.
I have some users that want to use a Mac and run our Windows software in a VM and use those devices.

I admit that it is rare but there are people that use industry specific hardware and the newer stuff uses USB.

Re:what do you expect? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24568143)

I use a usb dongle to get access to my company's VPN.

Re:what do you expect? (2, Insightful)

ReiDragon (1018072) | more than 6 years ago | (#24568275)

The printer drivers for my vista machine at home are absolutely horrid (They're beta drivers that can only print text with any quality) and I use a VM with usb support to print out of XP to get the photo quality prints.

Re:what do you expect? (2)

laffer1 (701823) | more than 6 years ago | (#24568293)

We need to use USB devices in Windows XP in our computer labs at work. In our case, we're using Mac OS X so using parallels or vmware is the easiest solution. Unfortunately, half of the devices cause kernel panics. If that weren't the case, we would not need to use boot camp and it would indeed make our lives easier. Only one or two classes need Windows for anything.

Re:what do you expect? (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24568299)

I'm not trolling, I'm honestly curious. What USB hardware do you need in your VMs?

Bluetooth

My PDA's dock

A canon SLR camera, the remote capture software for which doesn't run on x64

my wacom tablet

Re:what do you expect? (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24568131)

They're working on it. Apparently there is a major release due in a few weeks. Not sure when, but maybe before October?

http://forums.virtualbox.org/viewtopic.php?t=8528

it has USB support (2, Informative)

reaktor (949798) | more than 6 years ago | (#24568219)

Virtualbox has USB support...

Re:it has USB support (2, Insightful)

wift (164108) | more than 6 years ago | (#24568359)

Maybe stable support then. Each time I try adding a usb device virtualbox throws up it's hands and gives me an error.

Re:what do you expect? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24568429)

Then give me USB support in VirtualBox. Cause I kinda need that the most.

i'm quite sure that the "HOW-TO" for that USB issue included in the fine-documentation (i had the same problem before).

Re:what do you expect? (3, Insightful)

dctoastman (995251) | more than 6 years ago | (#24567817)

http://www.ece.cmu.edu/~ganger/712.fall02/papers/p761-thompson.pdf [cmu.edu]

What if you can't even trust your compiler? At some point, even with fully open, GPL-compliant software, there is some point you just have to trust someone else to not jack you.

Re:what do you expect? (3, Insightful)

John Hasler (414242) | more than 6 years ago | (#24568301)

> What if you can't even trust your compiler?

You are referring to "Reflections on Trusting Trust" I assume. That is not really a practical attack in the real world.

> At some point, even with fully open, GPL-compliant software, there is some point you
> just have to trust someone else to not jack you.

A supplier of Free Software can never be sure that someone he doesn't even know about let alone control will decide to review his source code.

Re:what do you expect? (1)

JustinOpinion (1246824) | more than 6 years ago | (#24568797)

At some point, even with fully open, GPL-compliant software, there is some point you just have to trust someone else to not jack you.

Absolutely. I use computers with closed-source chip design and BIOS. And even though I can read source code, I obviously have not inspected every line of code on my Linux system. And even with scrutinized code, my compiler could be compromised, as you noted.

But, as with all security and trust questions, the objective isn't to achieve perfect security/trust (which is impossible) but to achieve a level of security/trust that is as high as possible (or as high as the application demands).

The more open the code is, and the more people who look at it, the more trust I will put in it. I don't have to inspect the code myself every time. If a trusted third-party trusts the code (e.g. Ubuntu maintainers put it into their repositories), that will increase my trust in it. Perfect trust is impossible. But, all other things being equal, I have more reasons to trust open and scrutinized code than I do to trust closed proprietary code that only a handful of people have ever looked over.

Ummm... How? (0)

Darkness404 (1287218) | more than 6 years ago | (#24567613)

How would this bug even happen? I can't think of any way except for something dealing with time how it would even have a bug.

Re:Ummm... How? (4, Informative)

cduffy (652) | more than 6 years ago | (#24567631)

If you read the article, you'd know it's the license-management code. Licenses expire.

Re:Ummm... How? (1)

gatzby3jr (809590) | more than 6 years ago | (#24567787)

The reason this is a bug is because the licenses didn't expire.

Re:Ummm... How? (1)

cduffy (652) | more than 6 years ago | (#24568009)

Yes, but the fact that licenses expire explains why the code checks dates, which is what the parent was doubting.

Re:Ummm... How? (3, Insightful)

Darkness404 (1287218) | more than 6 years ago | (#24567789)

Ah, see, another reason why free software always is better

Re:Ummm... How? (1)

Goaway (82658) | more than 6 years ago | (#24567647)

License managers generally deal with time a lot, and it's the license manager which is buggy.

Workaround available (4, Informative)

fredr1k (946815) | more than 6 years ago | (#24567633)

A workaround is possible Turn off NTP time on the host. And manually (using the VIC) change that date to one week backwards in time. Voila all set to work.

Re:Workaround available (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24567947)

and what about your auditing logs then ?

Re:Workaround available (5, Informative)

d_ron_218 (1343245) | more than 6 years ago | (#24567961)

The only way to run a Windows domain controller in VMware is to tie its clock to the physical host's clock. And lots of things break if your domain controllers have the wrong time (Kerberos authentication, NTP across the Windows network, etc, etc). So changing the host clock would generally be a bad idea.

Re:Workaround available (5, Interesting)

Sobrique (543255) | more than 6 years ago | (#24568125)

I've had oodles of grief from VMs running as DCs for exactly this reason - they pick up clock skew as they're not running _quite_ in real time. And so they drift, and as soon as they hit the ... is it 5 minute? Kerberos window, your whole domain goes nuts.

Troubleshooting that one was fun.

A version of Red Hat that didn't work? (-1, Offtopic)

timster (32400) | more than 6 years ago | (#24567685)

Yeah, I remember Red Hat 5.0 (Hurricane) too.

My head hurts. (5, Funny)

dc29A (636871) | more than 6 years ago | (#24567717)

My head hurts reading that article. Who the fuck wrote it? A ten year old mental retard?

It's like ............... this and VM's this VM's that (Yes, notice the spelling?). Ooooh and the cyberwarfare boogeyman! You can't even find this much Hollywood scenario fear mongering from Hollywood themselves. Oh noes! Our entire infrastructure will be killed by evil cyber terrorists because it runs on VMware!

Oh and and lovely parts like 'w/' instead of 'with'. Hey douchebag, this is not SMS, is it so hard to hit another 2 keys on your keyboard? Oh and for the love of $DEITY$, please learn basic HTML and use links so I don't have to copy paste text into the address bar.

As for Slashdot editors, why the fuck did they pick the worse possible article from the Firehose when plenty others look *WAY* more professional?

Re:My head hurts. (5, Funny)

dotancohen (1015143) | more than 6 years ago | (#24567945)

Even worse, he got the meme wrong. The title of the blog post should have been "All your VM are belong to us". Idiot.

Re:My head hurts. (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24567975)

for the love of $DEITY$

That's either $DEITY or %DEITY%, please learn basic shell scripting for your platform :)

Morale: if you're gonna rant, make sure you do not make the same mistakes as the target of your rant

Re:My head hurts. (5, Funny)

kiwimate (458274) | more than 6 years ago | (#24568235)

for the love of $DEITY$

That's either $DEITY or %DEITY%, please learn basic shell scripting for your platform :)

Morale: if you're gonna rant, make sure you do not make the same mistakes as the target of your rant

That's moral, which is a lesson to be learned. Morale refers to high spirits, or lack thereof, as in "his morale was crushed when he realized his error in verbiage".

Re:My head hurts. (1)

stevied (169) | more than 6 years ago | (#24568395)

$DEITY$ is quite clearly a custom CVS keyword, albeit with the capitalization convention wrong, $Deity$ would be more usual ;-)

Re:My head hurts. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24568511)

... *worst* possible article ...

You know, since we're being pedantic and all.

Yes, it is a bug (5, Insightful)

evilpenguin (18720) | more than 6 years ago | (#24567723)

But the real bug is license enforcement in the first place. Why would you run the risk of making your business depend on the whims of someone else's IP policies and enforcement?

Now, I'm somewhat realistic. I know that there isn't (yet) an adequate replacement for every piece of closed proprietary software out there. But for my own business (admittedly small) I am building with nothing but GPL/BSD/Apache license code. And it is working. I don't trust closed code. Of course my software will have bugs, some of them serious. But I won't have stuff shutting down because of "license" issues. Why do people go quietly into enforced licenses? Why do people accept remote kill switches on their servers? Why doesn't this strike everyone as a crazy thing to do?

Re:Yes, it is a bug (2, Insightful)

jason.stover (602933) | more than 6 years ago | (#24567903)

Because they want someone they can call up and say, "Product X is broke. Fix it."

That's pretty much the main reason that I've ran into. A support contract being available.

Re:Yes, it is a bug (2, Insightful)

Mikkeles (698461) | more than 6 years ago | (#24568647)

So, how's it working for, say, VMWare EXS users?

Re:Yes, it is a bug (1)

k-macjapan (1271084) | more than 6 years ago | (#24568167)

It's called passing the buck... aka C.Y.A.

Re:Yes, it is a bug (1)

Shados (741919) | more than 6 years ago | (#24568191)

Because its an exceptional case. This particular one will hit a lot of people, but for the most part, most people have never had any issues with stuff like this. I know I never did.

And when that happen? Who cares, I'll just sue their asses, like I do whenever OTHER problems come up, and it works to recover losses, if its a bit of a pain in the ass (though usually they compensate you without having to go that far).

Re:Yes, it is a bug (3, Insightful)

Waffle Iron (339739) | more than 6 years ago | (#24568641)

And when that happen? Who cares, I'll just sue their asses, like I do whenever OTHER problems come up, and it works to recover losses

No you won't. For essentially any software product available on today's market, during installation you agree to waive your rights to recover any losses beyond the purchase price.

Re:Yes, it is a bug (1)

Magic5Ball (188725) | more than 6 years ago | (#24568335)

I am building with nothing but GPL/BSD/Apache license code

That must be a log of Open Source silicon. Oh, wait...

VMWare Fusion is littered with bugs (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24567799)

I bought VMWare Fusion for my Mac shortly after it was released.

I've rarely seen such buggy commercial software. The VM engine itself is fine, but there are bugs galore in the GUI side of things.

Visit the VMWare Fusion "support" forum and virtually every posting is not asking how to do something, but is reporting a bug of some kind.

I think that VMWare staff ought to spend more time bug testing, and less time checking their stock tickers to see how well the company is doing.

Re:VMWare Fusion is littered with bugs (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24568347)

If you haven't yet, take a look at virtualbox.

VMWare's KB down (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24567861)

"Temporary Maintenance - Knowledge Base

This section of the VMware website is currently unavailable while we make important user improvements and upgrades to the site. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause."

I hope it wasn't running on a VM.

Utility computing w/o virtualization (3, Insightful)

MarkEst1973 (769601) | more than 6 years ago | (#24567955)

VMWare licenses for ESX server cost something like $5k apiece. My company uses VMWare and I don't quite get it. We pay for expensive blade hardware ($8k each for those, not to mention the chasis), then we pay $5k per virtual server. And for what? Adding virtualization overhead to the runtime cost.

Meanwhile, in articles like this [markturansky.com] , people are showing how to run many applications and different versions within a single container. A single node in the cluster can run any application. There are always busy, keeping the hardware fully utilized. Isn't that the promise of utility computing? Rack up a bunch of cheaper (but not cheap/shoddy) servers and let your cluster go to town.

So, my question is, why are we (as an industry) embracing virtualization when apps written for a smart container (like OSGi) give the same benefits without all the additional co$t and runtime overhead?

Re:Utility computing w/o virtualization (3, Informative)

Cyberax (705495) | more than 6 years ago | (#24568201)

Isolation and easy management.

Isolation of applications in OSGi containers is leaky, one bad-behaving application can bring down the whole containers.

Lightweight containers (OpenVZ, Virtuozzo) have almost no overhead and allow cool features like load-balancing of ALL applications between cluster nodes. However, all lightweight containers use the same kernel, and one kernel bug can bring down all virtual nodes.

XEN/KVM have a bit more overhead but with even more isolation (each node has its own kernel).

Re:Utility computing w/o virtualization (1)

wisty (1335733) | more than 6 years ago | (#24568793)

Restart, recover. Reimage. Utility computing should be able to take a node going down. Heck, it should just about assume that rogue nodes are going to actively attack you. Otherwise you go down like Amazon when anything goes pear shaped. That is expensive, but so is all security.

Re:Utility computing w/o virtualization (2, Interesting)

laffer1 (701823) | more than 6 years ago | (#24568379)

Simple, the industry goes through cycles. Virtualization is hot and some people love it. They want to run it even if there isn't a good reason for it. Some people mistakenly believe it improves security.

Virtualization is good for testing software and a few other cases where you need to run a different OS but don't want to deal with dedicated hardware or dual booting. I don't see any use in server environments except possibly web hosting.

Re:Utility computing w/o virtualization (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24568775)

Simple...power. Right now our datacenter is strapped for power, and power isn't cheap. Neither is cooling. For 10U and 8000 watts I can install a fully loaded blade chassis with 128 CPU cores and 1 Terabyte of RAM, attach it to a SAN and run 150 VMs in it. Or I can install 150 rack and stack servers at taking up 4 racks and 75000 watts. Let me think here...

And while I'm thinking about it, let's also remember that using VMWare gives you options like DRS and VMotion that you don't get with physical hardware. Or you can replicate your SAN to another SAN at your DR site and have a VMWare cluster waiting there for recovery. Then instead of having to do a bunch of restores to bare metal hardware, you could potentially get your servers back up and running in minutes instead of hours.

There are many, many benefits to virtualization. If there weren't then people wouldn't have been using for decades in one form or another.

You! (1)

PJCRP (1314653) | more than 6 years ago | (#24567973)

Your licence has expired! You're not protected from dangerous internet threats! Renew your licence now and scan your computer...

VM Licence Management wants to squeeze a few more dollars out of you :U

"License management code..." (4, Insightful)

John Hasler (414242) | more than 6 years ago | (#24568033)

...Says it all, I think. Perhaps you should reconsider the ramifications of making your business critically dependent on software that contains code specifically design to make it stop working.

Consider this: to a proprietary vendor the only safe failure mode for "license management code" is one where everything stops.

Patch Tuesday (5, Interesting)

Thelasko (1196535) | more than 6 years ago | (#24568049)

FTFA:

VC will continue to show the hosts as licensed and no errors will appear in vmkernel log file until you try to start up a new vm, reboot a vm, or reboot the host.

Um, isn't today Patch Tuesday? [wikipedia.org] This could be worse than we thought.

Re:Patch Tuesday (4, Informative)

prandal (87280) | more than 6 years ago | (#24568111)

Rebooting a host doesn't power down the VM.

The licence checking is done at VM power up, apparently.

Re:Patch Tuesday (1)

fan of lem (1092395) | more than 6 years ago | (#24568467)

Come to think of it, the VMWare license server runs on Windows (only the ESX hosts themselves utilize Red Hat). Could everything boil down to being MS's fault? Oh how Slashdotters would love that.

Re:Patch Tuesday (1)

Thelasko (1196535) | more than 6 years ago | (#24568617)

It will be 3am in New Zealand in a few minutes. We should find out then.

License Management Server (3, Informative)

Comatose51 (687974) | more than 6 years ago | (#24568213)

Unless something has changed dramatically, an expired license won't bring down any already deployed VMs. It simply won't allow you to deploy undeployed ones. It doesn't shut down the VMs as the headline makes it sound nor is it a bug in the hypervisor. Yes it's embarrassing that this got out but can we have a less sensationalist headline and summary?

Re:License Management Server (2, Informative)

Slashcrap (869349) | more than 6 years ago | (#24568741)

Unless something has changed dramatically, an expired license won't bring down any already deployed VMs. It simply won't allow you to deploy undeployed ones. It doesn't shut down the VMs as the headline makes it sound nor is it a bug in the hypervisor. Yes it's embarrassing that this got out but can we have a less sensationalist headline and summary?

No it just makes it impossible to start up VMs, restart VMs or VMotion them. I can't imagine why everyone's getting upset.

Yes, there's a workaround - you just put back the date on the server. Unless you're in a business where randomly changing the dates on servers is frowned upon for compliance reasons.

KVM and XEN (5, Interesting)

kenp2002 (545495) | more than 6 years ago | (#24568291)

The Open Source Model gets a leg up again after this nonsense. A client of mine just ported all their VMs and said good bye to VMware. That's 280 VMs by the way. Thank God we had a contingency plan for switching VM providers for a DR exercise a year ago and here we go.

Management is pretty upset and I doubt we will be switching back any time soon to VMWare products after this.

On a side note this scenario did prove one thing:

Having a VM-agnostic storage makes migration easy. We changed a mount point, powered on the alternate VM host and we were off and running just that quick. We lost the ability to do live migrations for now but beyond that is was a good opporunity to see just how important an VM-agnostic disk storage array is. (I'm not the admin of those machines but I believe we are using iSCSI).

On my side though I had about 50 scripts tapping VMWare via PERL but I guess I can start building workarounds now... No more batch submission and dynamic routing for a week or two... The part I hate the most was I had a nice script to take a batch submission and if necessary migrate a utility node to bigger hardware to accomidate the batch... pisses me off but what can I do, thank you Vmware, that aquisition seems to be improving your product as much as when Symantec aquired Ghost Corp!

Crippled by design (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24568341)

Bugs happen. What's so sad about this one, is that it's happening in some code that exists for no reason other than to harm their own customers. (Remember: pirates don't run the license-checking code.) If the intent of the code is to make the software fail, and there is a bug in that code that makes the software fail, then this borders more on malware rather than a mere bug, even though it was caused by an 'innocent'? mistake. If I were a VMWare customer, I would be furious.

misleading headline (2, Informative)

andrew.hill (530727) | more than 6 years ago | (#24568493)

Nothing gets "Shut Down". You can't power on VMs, use vmotion, or DRS.

I'd post this comment... (1)

gparent (1242548) | more than 6 years ago | (#24568517)

But I'll have to wait tomorrow, as I'm on VMWare =(

I've got a fix that will be available sooner... (1)

Hel Toupee (738061) | more than 6 years ago | (#24568551)

I would imagine that a fix would be available in less than 24 hours... you know... wait and start your processes tomorrow? Still sucks. I'm glad I didn't bother to keep my stuff completely up-to-date.

It's days like this... (1)

AcquaCow (56720) | more than 6 years ago | (#24568695)

I'm glad that I keep true to the old methods and run a full version behind.

I'm running 3.0.1 just about everywhere and am unaffected by this bug. I work in a prototyping lab and being able to clone and boot up new VMs is a way of life.

No money wasted today =)

  -- Dave

Load More Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?