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Compatibility with Virtual environments

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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. IT has also shown compatibility and been extensively tested with later versions of vSphere.

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 licence on both the physical machine and a virtual machine will eventually cause the licence to be locked out.

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

We have recently tested current versions of Windows in VMs under ProxMox VE v7.2 and these have been shown to be fully compatible as well.

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 tried successfully on VirtualBox, but see the note below relating to hardware virtualisation.

The licence token should be installed as a network server type using cmserver.exe. Installing as a stand-alone type licence 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 very old 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 appears to have been a bug in VirtualBox, as far as we can determine, and has now been fixed by the developers.

General note on all virtual environments

The CopyMinder protection check is very CPU intensive. Running in virtual environments where hardware virtualisation (VT-x etc) is unavailable or the CPU power available is limited will cause the time taken for the protection check to lengthen. It is therefore advised that within the hypervisor as much CPU power as possible is allocated to the VM where protected software is to be run from.

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