With vSphere 5 VMware has released a greatly enhanced Web Client for Virtual Machine Administrators. People who remember the old vSphere Web Access will be blown away by how good the new vSphere Web Client is. It will allow much easier and more efficient access to staff that need it, without having to install the full vSphere Client. The Virtual Machine Administration capability of the vSphere Web Client is very functionally rich. I am not talking here about the vCenter Virtual Appliance (VCVA), which is a completely new product and was also released with vSphere 5, so don’t get confused. The new vSphere Web Client works with either the VCVA or the vCenter Installable and has no problem with Cisco Nexus 1000v and Distributed Switches. You can even use it with multiple vCenter servers.
Provisioning, VM Power Operations, Interacting with the VM Console, and Monitoring, including Performance Monitoring, Tasks, Events, and Alerting are all possible. In addition to Virtual Machine Administration there are a subset of host, storage and network administration tasks that are available, such as:
- Putting hosts into maintenance mode
- Monitoring host performance
- Monitoring storage performance, utilization and free space
- Monitoring host, network and storage tasks, events and alarms
The list above is by no means exhaustive.
Also very important for many customers is that the new vSphere Web Client comes with a useful License Plug-in that allows reporting of vSphere license consumption, usage, and allows automated alerting. The reporting view is available to administrators through the full vSphere Client. This will make it very easy to ensure you have the licenses you need, and allow you to manage usage effectively.
The new vSphere Web Client can only be used to connect to vCenter 5 systems, but you can configure it to administer multiple vCenter 5 systems. Each vCenter can contain any combination of supported vSphere or ESX/ESXi host versions. There is no need to deploy one vSphere Web Client system per vCenter server (but at some point you will need to scale if usage increases to many hundreds of users).
This new capability will make it very easy for organizations to allow necessary access and controls to the users that need it with a least privilege approach without the overheads of the full vSphere Client and for every organization to effectively manage their licensing. This also means it’s now possible for Administrators from Mac and Linux Desktops to have the administrative access they require, and a great user experience as well. All without having to start up a Windows VM, Log into a Windows Virtual Desktop, or go to a Windows Machine in order to do their job.
I would strongly recommend that every customer that upgrades to vSphere 5 implements the vSphere Web Client. Care should be taken to assign the necessary roles and permissions to allow access to only the necessary resources. But I can see this becoming an essential tool for organizations, especially when they need to give application teams access to view performance of their VM’s but don’t want to toll out the full vSphere Client, or when they want a platform independent (requires flash) way to manage the environment.
Find out how to deploy the vSphere Web Client without having to purchase and additional Microsoft Windows Server License. Then take it to the next level and scale to a full enterprise deployment by reading Increase vSphere Web Client Availability and Scalability for Enterprise Environments.
This post first appeared on the Long White Virtual Clouds blog at longwhiteclouds.com. By Michael Webster +. Copyright © 2012 – IT Solutions 2000 Ltd and Michael Webster +. All rights reserved. Not to be reproduced for commercial purposes without written permission.