VMware has released a new update for its ESX and ESXi 3.5 virtualization infrastructure products that fixes the time element that was keeping virtual machines from powering on and not allowing customers to access Vmotion. While VMware issued a new patch for its ESX and ESXi 3.5 virtualization infrastructure products, VMware continued to warn customers who had downloaded the original Update 2 for ESX and ESXi to use an emergency patch.
"We have notified our customers that we have re-issued the
entire ESX/ESXi 3.5 Update 2 release (ISOs, upgrade tar and zip files, and
patch bundles)," according to the Aug. 14 VMware statement. "Please note this
update is only relevant to customers who did not install the impacted release
of ESX 3.5 Update 2 (build number 103908) or ESXi 3.5 Update 2 (build number
When customers first began notifying VMware of the problem
with Update 2, the company wrote on its Web site that problem
is "caused by a build timeout that was mistakenly left enabled for the release
build." This "timebomb" within the software meant that the ESX and ESXi
products would not run after a certain date and time. Once the time and date
hit Aug. 12 at 12:00 a.m., the virtual machines running on the ESX hypervisor shut down.
This also meant that Vmotion - VMware's technology that
allows the user to move virtual machines from one physical piece of hardware to
another - also did not work.
Some VMware customers alleviated the problem by manually turning
the time on the ESX host to either Aug. 10 or 11. VMware did warn that these temporary
fixes could disrupt database and email servers along with domain
While it's not clear how many people downloaded the original
patch, some Web
sites claimed the issues were widespread and the problem appears to have first
affected businesses in Asia first do to the time zone
The problem was enough that new CEO Paul Maritz
issued an apology and explained that the code that caused the problems had
been mistakenly left in the final release of Update 2 for ESX and ESXi 3.5
"We are doing everything in our power to make sure this
doesn't happen again," Maritz wrote. "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."