VMWare reminds us of just what Beta is

Posted by Tejus Parikh on January 23, 2008

Companies have been attaching the word “beta” without regard for the meaning of the word. Google is quite possibly the largest offender, affixing the “Beta” tag on software that works, is feature-full, and more production ready than many of their competitors final release offerings.

The VMWare Server team wants to fix the injustice to the word “beta” and bring it back to it’s roots. Therefore, the VMWare Server 2.0 is not very good. They’ve replaced the quite usable and responsive thick client that only works on Windows and Linux, with a buggy, unresponsive, slow-to update, web-client that only works in Windows. Huh? I thought the point of using the web is platform-independence. Apparently, VMWare wants to buck that trend as well.

Then you’ve got the hosting component. One of our VM’s kept crashing. The guest was Centos5. Thinking that it was just the guest os, we downgraded to Centos4, since the VM that is basically used for running queries was pretty stable. Nope, same problem. Apparently, it just has issues with a VM that needs to both read and write from a disk.

In an effort to be a good beta-testing citizen, I filled out a bug report, included some log files and sent it on it’s way. I got an email a few weeks later asking for more information. I dutifully ran the scripts they asked me to run. One of the commands told me to contact VMware support for an FTP account, since the generated information was too large for their webform. I emailed back, and I’m still waiting.

We’ve since downgraded to Server 1.04, in what might be a vain hope that since VMWare knows the traditional definition of “Beta,” they may know the traditional definition of “Production Ready.”

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Tejus Parikh

Tejus is an software developer, now working at large companies. Find out when I write new posts on twitter, via RSS or subscribe to the newsletter: