back to article VMware flings out preview of new web management interface

VMware admins are generally pretty happy with their lot, although the dire web interface for vSphere 5.x got plenty of backs up. Virtzilla therefore gave vSphere 6.0 a shiny new web interface, but did so by relying on the NPAPI browser plugin format that's about to go to the big Trash folder in the sky thanks to Chrome deciding …

  1. DougMac

    FWIW: you can run vSphere Web Client 6.0 without NPAPI in Chrome, and use the HTML console to interact with the console screen. The big hangup is when you try to upload (or download) files into datastore, where you'll find things won't work at all. They also have the VMRC console, but on the Mac at least, that is a bit rough, but a bit more functional than the HTML5 console in 6.0

    The most promising job for this fling is to control the host when vCenter is down (ie. to bring vCenter back up if you don't have a totally separate management cluster) without having to fall back to vSphere Thick Client. It is also light weight, only 2M! Quite a different direction than the VMWare Host Client that only existed in the first 6.0 Beta.

    I think it is also a proof of concept that they don't need to use Flash and NPAPI to get the job done, hopefully pushing the vSphere Web Client team that direction before its too late and Flash and NPAPI are both banished from all browsers.

    1. Anonymous Coward

      can't you just log into the host and start your vcenter?

      That's how I've had to do it in the past. I will claim the foresight of having an offline copy of my password database (encrypted, of course) so that I was actually /able/ to log into the host and restart the vcenter server via CLI. The other problem was, of course, that I then had to locate and start a domain controller in order for vcenter to be able to reach the hosts...needless to say, my planning since that night has been much more thorough.

      1. gerdesj Silver badge

        Re: can't you just log into the host and start your vcenter?

        CloudFlare Ray ID: 217c77ff086f137d Oh well lost my post. Basically: use the hosts file.

  2. GitMeMyShootinIrons

    The point of this fling...

    Was primarily to provide admin capabilities to stand alone hosts using a browser interface rather than being forced to use the old installable client.

    Welcome back, ESX 2.x.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Does it work on ESXi free (not connected to vcenter) or is it crippled like the cli?

    1. DougMac

      No, doesn't work with ESXi free license.

      Since everything VMWare is API driven, when the APIs are turned off due to the license, those things won't work no matter what client pokes at them.

      1. elesueur

        We're working on a solution to this issue. Stay tuned.

  4. Nate Amsden Silver badge

    9 years ago never thought I would say this

    But you can pry the .NET vsphere client from my cold dead hands, or something like that.

    I say this as a linux user as well.

    Most of the time I run the vsphere client through XenApp (since vCenter is 3-5,000 miles away depending on the data center - and I run XenApp client on a windows VM on top of Linux because native XenApp with vSphere client on Linux sucks for me).

    I know with ESXi 5.5 or maybe even 5.1 I forget they depreciated it and said all new features are web client only - so far haven't had the need to use any of those features that are limited to the web client(nor do I even know what they are).

    I've spent probably a grand total of 20 minutes using the web client. OH there is one thing I use the web client for, managing VM configurations of windows 2012 VMs (of which I have 3 or 4 out of 600 VMs total), since they need the newer hardware version on ESXi 5.5 of which the configuration cannot be changed by the .NET client. Last time I had to make a change to them I think was last year.

    But like many things I guess I became cautious and think to myself "be careful what you wish for" when you want something. They may make it worse(as hard as that can be to imagine sometimes).

    1. BlartVersenwaldIII

      Re: 9 years ago never thought I would say this

      We're using a whole bunch (aka an imperial handful or half a wheelbarra) of 2012 R2 ESXi VMs and we're still able to manage the non-new features for them from within the fat client - as long as you haven't done anything like assign >2TB discs you should be fine. I think they only added this proviso in 5.5U2 however, which was at the point we upgraded, so it's likely your earlier version of the fat client wasn't able to manage them at the time.

      Doing remote console sessions on VMs was usually painful at the best of times even with the fat client, but the web client made it teeth-grindingly frustrating. Here's hoping they've made some big steps in that regard but I'm not going to hold my breath.

    2. drexciya

      Re: 9 years ago never thought I would say this

      From ESXi 5.5 u2 onwards, the "old" client (you must explicitly download the 5.5u2 client) can still manage VM settings, even for virtual hardware 9 or 10 (or in 6: version 11). The only things that don't work are the new settings from version 5.1 onwards, but these are not used often.

      1. Nate Amsden Silver badge

        Re: 9 years ago never thought I would say this

        yeah true I looked again, for me at the time I think it was increasing # of CPUs to really high numbers or something, been a while

  5. Mr Dogshit

    Write some damn code and compile it

    Is that so hard? A browser was never intended to be a frigging interface.

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