Notes on Virtualisation

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Notes on Virtualisation

Notes on Virtualisation

I have copied these notes from the CopyMinder - our 3rd Part Software Protection service. I do not have experience of Virtualisation, and will not be able to help you much without first seeking advice from CopyMinder.

If you have any questions, email me, and I will try to find the answers.

Type 1 (bare metal) hypervisors

CopyMinder has been tested and found to work correctly using a VMWare vSphere (also known as ESXi) 5.5 host and vSphere 5.5 client to run 32 bit and 64 bit Windows operating systems at VM hardware levels 8 and 9.

If the host computer running ESXi supports hardware virtualisation, then performance in terms of protection checking speed appears broadly comparable with running natively.

Using the VMware converter to create a virtual machine from a physical machine will cause the first protection check done under the newly created VM to be detected as a suspicious installation and require a connection to our servers. Continuing to use the same license on both the physical machine and a virtual machine will eventually cause the license to be locked out.

CopyMinder has also been tested on virtual machines under the Hyper-V role of Windows Server 2012 R2 and found to operate correctly, again with protection checks taking a comparable amount of time to running natively.

Type 2 (hosted) hypervisors

CopyMinder has been tried on Microsoft VirtualPC and VMWare running on Windows with Windows as the guest operating system and the protection check worked correctly. It has also been tested successfully on VirtualBox, but see the note below relating to hardware virtualisation.

The license token should be installed as a network server type using cmserver.exe. Installing as a stand-alone type license is likely to cause many problems with suspicious installations.

An important thing to note is that these environments are emulators and since the run-time protection check is very CPU intensive the time taken is greatly increased, sometimes to several minutes.

If you plan to run a protected program in these environments, it is advisable to avoid using Advanced Runtime Protection when adding protection because it requires even more CPU power at run time.

When using older versions of VirtualBox, it is necessary to disable hardware virtualisation in the BIOS of your computer if the processor supports this feature. Leaving it enabled will cause intermittent crashes of the protected program. Tested on v4.1.18 of the VirtualBox software. This seemed to be a bug in VirtualBox as far as we could determine, and appears to now have been fixed by the developers.