Thursday, August 20, 2015

VMware vSphere ESXi Host Web Client

Not everyone is a fan of the current VMware vSphere Web Client provided with vCenter Server, but, one thing is for sure, it’s here to stay. I was not always a fan of the vSphere Web Client, but as improvements were made and my exposure grew, I have become quite fond of it (less reliance on Microsoft Windows? No complaints here).

Unfortunately, one thing still holds me back from ditching the Windows laptop for my Mac or a Linux distribution: ESXi host management. Thanks to Etienne Le Sueur and George Estebe (apologies to others that have contributed, I am going from the list of engineers), we now have a VMware Fling that brings browser based management to our vSphere ESXi hosts.

Warning! Flings are experimental and VMware recommends that they not be run on production systems.

Description from the Fling:
This version of the ESXi Embedded Host Client is written purely in HTML and JavaScript, and is served directly from your ESXi host and should perform much better than any of the existing solutions. Please note that the Host Client cannot be used to manage vCenter. Currently, the client is in its development phase, but we are releasing this Fling to elicit early feedback from our users to help guide the development and user experience that we are creating.


Features available at the time of posting:

• VM operations (Power on, off, reset, suspend, etc.).
• Creating a new VM, from scratch or from OVF/OVA (limited OVA support)
• Configuring NTP on a host
• Displaying summaries, events, tasks, and notifications/alerts
• Providing a console to VMs
• Configuring host networking
• Configuring host advanced settings
• Configuring host services

I am not sure if I am more excited for the ability to manage vSphere ESXi hosts without the need for a Windows installable client, or for a preview of what the vSphere Web Client could be without the dependence on Adobe Flash…

I recommend all virtualization engineers and administrators check it out and contribute feedback.

Note: When using with an ESXi host that was upgraded from ESXi 5.x, a workaround is required to resolve a browser 503 error. William Lam has detailed the workaround on his blog at New HTML5 Embedded Host Client for ESXi (virtuallyghetto.com).

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