The Virtual Machine is broken!

I had my first instance of “it’s broken because it’s a virtual machine” today. Sometimes, users are funny.

You know the scenario: The user is having Problem X and they are absolutely certain it’s because of Fact Y. More often than not Fact Y has nothing to do with Problem X, at best it’s a symptom of the root cause.

And, this was a good example of this phenomenon, a rarely used vendor app on a Terminal Server had stopped working at some point in the past 2 weeks and the users needed it fixed NOW. It’s only used once in a while, but when it’s needed, there is usually an angry student standing right in front of the user wanting their problem fixed yesterday. The primary support person for this vendor app was unavailable, but I’d done some work with him earlier in the week to troubleshoot the same problem and thought it was fixed. It was not, no one had tried to use the app since our failed fix. So, uninstall the app and reinstall because the only way to input some of the configuration details for the application is during the initial install process. 10 minutes of clicking and waiting and it’s fixed. Head down to inform the users…and they assume the problem was the app being hosted on a virtual machine.

This makes me want to start telling users: “Nope, that whole virtualization thing turned out to be a fad, we’re buying a new server every time an important task comes up.”

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