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A VM Image that expires

Posted on 2011-02-20
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Last Modified: 2012-08-14
Hello experts,

I am looking for a solution (3rd party application, control mechanism, workaround, etc) that will help me have an expired VMWare Image for example in n number of days or some specific date.

I would like to provide a VMWare image to my customer which can be run in VMWare Workstation but I would like that image to be unusable (unbootable) after a specified date so that that image can only be used for demo purposes. (which means pausing the image or taking snapshots or exporting it must also not work after the specified date)

I am also hoping if there is a solution for this goal, the solution must be hard to hack or unhackable :)

Best Regards  
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Question by:bozer
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LVL 16

Accepted Solution

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danm66 earned 800 total points
ID: 34940816
I believe you can use ACE to do this and if you have a newer release of Workstation, ACE should be included with it but you may need to edit the VM's settings to enable ACE
http://www.vmware.com/support/ace/doc/policies_expire_ace.html
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Author Comment

by:bozer
ID: 34940925
From what I understand from the article, this is exactly what I need!

Can you please comment how secure this is?

Thanks
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LVL 123

Assisted Solution

by:Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)
Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2) earned 200 total points
ID: 34942160
VMware ACE has a feature called Package LIfetime.

We use VMware Workstation and VMware ACE to create packages (VMware Virtual Machines rolled in an encrypted package which is very secure and tamper proof), for use for Contractors/Vendors on site, we specify a validity period or expiry date when the VMware Virtual machine, is rolled into a package. We give them the package on a USB stick. We know, that after the date specified they will no longer be able to use the virtual machine.

ACE is an exentension of VMware Workstation

http://www.vmware.com/products/ace/

 VMware ACE Expiry in the Package
 Encryption Settings in ACE
Our cients require encryption.
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