VMware Engineering, Are You Fixing Anything?

by Bob Plankers on August 19, 2012 · 8 comments

in Virtualization

I was just reading Josh Andrews’ account of a serious bug still present in the latest releases of VMware vCenter 5.0 (5.0b):

This bug has been known for a while and while U1 contained some mentions about fixing it – we now have U1b and the problem still exists…. Make sure you have a cluster with HA and/or DRS turned on…. Enable VM Storage Profiles… Now return to your cluster summary to verify HA and DRS have been turned off and all settings have been lost.

This is epic bad stuff here, because if there’s one good way to mess a lot of things up it’s to disable DRS. Especially if you have a vCloud Director setup, since if you shut DRS off all your resource pools disappear. If you are like me and have a ton of rules in place to keep VMs separated or on particular hosts it would be disastrous to have those deleted, too.

This resonates with me, because I’ve had several issues opened with VMware, with no resolution, for ages, to the point where VMware Support is closing the cases because there will never be a fix. My biggest one lately has been that if you try to take a VSS quiesced snapshot of a Windows 2008 guest the guest will report that it has NTFS corruption, and fail the snapshot operation. It doesn’t seem like it actually has corruption, chkdsk comes back fine, but my Windows admins are unwilling to just ignore the error. I don’t blame them. I haven’t been able to take a quiesced snapshot in 10 months, and since VMware products like Data Recovery don’t have the ability to NOT take a quiesced snapshot of an OS it thinks it can quiesce they’re dead to me, too. Thankfully the guys at Veeam thoughtfully offer the option to not quiesce, using old-style crash consistent snaps instead.

It really makes me wonder about how priorities get assigned for fixing problems within VMware Engineering. I have the best level of support you can get from VMware, “Business Critical,” which when it comes to reporting an actual, verifiable, reproducible, serious bug means absolutely nothing. For several months now I’ve been told every two weeks that there’s been no movement on this or my other problems I’ve reported. I’m guessing the same is true of Josh’s bug, too. Meanwhile we sit, with no ability to do fundamental operations on VMs, and no DRS & HA settings anymore.

I think I’m about done reporting problems, since nobody is listening. Maybe I’ll just cancel my support contract and blog about the bugs I find, since the last time I did that I had a project manager actually get back to me.

Or, maybe I won’t. After all, Hyper-V takes a VSS-quiesced snapshot of Windows 2008 just fine.

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