Last week, a small light appeared at the end of the dim tunnel called the vSphere Web Client. If you’re a vSphere engineer, or even just a user managing applications or server; you know what I’m talking about.
The vSphere Web Client has been problematic since day one. Some days it feels like you need an incantation to get the web client working, with Adobe Flash, browser security, and custom plug-ins. Even when you do, the slow response time of the web client directly impacts your productivity. Then there has been the very slow migration from the C# client, with components such as vCenter Update Manager just recently being available in the web client. Plus, only with the recent fling activity around the ESXi Embedded Host Client can we see a world where we don’t need the C# client at all.
Speaking of flings; the vSphere HTML5 Web Client is currently a VMware Fling; a technology preview built by VMware engineers with the intent the community explore and test, providing feedback. Often flings make it into the product in a future release, though that is largely dependent on the feedback from the community. This one needs our feedback!
If you are running vSphere 6, I highly encourage you to install the vSphere HTML5 Web Client. Currently, the deployment is through a vApp with the web server hosting the interface on a separate virtual machine from any of your vCenter Servers. This means there is very low risk to your environment, as you aren’t modifying your existing vCenter, rather extending it through the SSO engine to a separate web server.
At first glance, the instructions for the fling appear a little involved, though trust me they are not. All told it took me about 10 minutes to setup the H5 Web Client. The instructions are very detailed, so I won’t repeat them in depth; though I captured my deployment if you are interested.
I have both VCSA and vCenter for Windows in my lab, the fling will work with either (and will support an existing enhanced link mode setup like mine). I went the Windows route as it’s my platform services controller and SSO server.
- Download the OVA and the batch file
- Execute the batch file, which generates three config files
- Deploy the vSphere HTML5 Web Client OVA
- Once the new vApp is only, follow the instructions to create three new directories.
- Using a tool such as WinSCP, copy the three files from your vCenter server to the
- vSphere Web Client server
- Set the NTP Server
- Start the web server
- Browse vCenter in beautiful native HTML5, no plug-ins, no flash, so fiddling with your browser security. (If you are not already logged in to vSphere, the H5 site will redirect you to the SSO for authentication)
*Note there is no sound, this is to follow along the steps. The video is not speed up, this is the actual deployment time
Again this is the very first preview and as such the functionality is limited. Here a just a few screen shot while you’re waiting on the download.