The VMWare license fiasco

“That didn’t take long.” I thought as I thought of ways to rebuff management’s scorn of a product that has seemingly “had a lot of issues” in its short life with our organization. But it is true – we’re attempting to return our VMWare ESXi to HP. Not because we’re going to stop using ESXi, but rather, the patch fails to apply on the embedded version from HP. What does this mean? It is quite literally useless.

I tried many ways to apply the patch, including viewing the system logs in the ‘unsupported’ tech console mode. Unfortunately, a generic error about patch installation wasn’t very helpful, and an expensive tech call to VMware was out of the question, especially when an alternative was available.

Rather than spending many more hours troubleshooting the issue, after about 8 hours I decided to just install ESXi from VMware. This version is now free and does everything the other version did.

For those of you who are not aware, VMware Update 2 had an issue where on August 12th, all ESX licenses would expire. This affected all versions of ESX, including ESXi. When VM’s were powered off, they could no longer be powered on. This was very debiliating to customers who relied on DRS and VMotion, because these features wouldn’t be able to power on the new VM’s. VMWare had a patch available in about 18 hours, around 6 PM on August 12th. I successfully patched a VMWare ESXi installable server that we are using for the Squid boxes. After a day of trying to install the patch, at about 7:00 PM on August 13th I just copied USB flash drive for the ESXi installable we had working and factory reset the settings and drove on. How frustrating!

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