VMware Fusion 3 and Workstation 7 licensing problems no trick or treat

Fusion 3.0 and Workstation 7.0 download demand is causing licensing and upgrade problems for VMware's users

Desktop virtualization is quickly making a turnaround. While everyone has been talking about server virtualization taking over the datacenter, companies like VMware have still been creating desktop virtualization software to help both the business world and the home consumer. And with a multiplier of desktops to servers, this market is huge!

The Mac market is also growing, and Windows users who are switching over still want access to their Windows games and applications. Linux and Windows users want the flexibility of being able to cross over from one platform to another as well. VMware and others hope to capitalize on these needs.

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But when VMware launched its new Mac virtualization software, VMware Fusion 3.0, and its new desktop virtualization software, Workstation 7.0 at the same time, I bet they weren't expecting to see download and upgrade problems hit their servers.

Normally, a company would be thrilled to have high traffic hitting their Web site to download and upgrade to their latest software release. But when that happens and it causes a negative customer experience, nobody is happy.

Shortly after the launch of VMware's latest desktop virtualization platforms, the company experienced a high volume of folks trying to upgrade. But evidently, the company that helps keep your servers and datacenters up and running with amazing high availability and business continuity couldn't do the same for its own download or licensing servers.

The company posted the following alert on its support site explaining the problem to would-be upgraders:

Due to overwhelming demand for the newly released VMware Fusion and VMware Workstation products, we are experiencing longer than usual wait times with upgrading to VMware Fusion 3 and VMware Workstation 7. VMware is working to resolve these issues.

Pat Lee, director of personal desktop products at VMware, blogged about the experience on the Team Fusion blog, saying, "While we have already transacted thousands of upgrades today and many people are able to get the product, I apologize immensely to those of you who are anxious to get the product immediately and are running into issues."

Lee also provided users with an alternate download method and offered a temporary 30-day trial license key to get users up and running until the upgrade portal could be fixed.

It didn't take long for VMware to respond. Yesterday Lee informed us that a new VMware upgrade portal was now online and ready for business. Hopefully this one can stand the traffic. Wouldn't it be cool if someone could come up with a software solution that could help with business continuity problems like this and automatically provision a virtual machine to come online and help take care of the additional server and network load?

Copyright © 2009 IDG Communications, Inc.

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