So you want to run the vSphere Web Client server but you don’t want to install the Windows version, which may require you to purchase an additional Microsoft Windows Server License? Well I have good news for you. You can download and deploy the vCenter Server Virtual Appliance, which is a SUSE Enterprise Linux based appliance and use the vSphere Web Client server instance on that to manage any other vCenter system. You don’t have to use the VCVA itslef as a vCenter server. This will give you all the features and functions of a vSphere Web Client without having to purchase an additional Windows license from Microsoft. Thanks to Barrie Seed aka @vStorage for the inspiration for this article and the original idea. Let’s walk through the procedure.
Prior to running through the steps below you should have downloaded and deployed the vCenter Server Virtual Appliance (VCVA) ovf version 5.0 from the VMware web site. This process assumes you already have the VCVA connected to the network and configured with the correct timezone already without any further configuration. Please be aware this process has only been validated on VCVA version 5.0, not 5.1.
This process assumes that you are not going to be using the VCVA as your vCenter Server. If you are planning to use the VCVA as your vCenter Server then you should not follow this process and should instead follow the VMware documentation for setting up and configuring VCVA. Use this to connect the vSphere Web Client that is included with the VCVA to an already existing vCenter system, without having to deploy another Windows Server and purchasing a Windows Server License.
To de-register the local embedded vCenter System and to register an existing vCenter Server with the vSphere Web Client do the following:
- Ensure you have logged into the VCVA and accepted the EULA. To do this you will need to access the VCVA Web Administration interface at https://<VCVA IP>:5480/. Log in using root, and click the Accept EULA button, you can then logout. Be sure not to configure or start the vCenter services on the VCVA.
- Through the console of the VCVA Virtual Machine log in as root using the default password
- cd /usr/lib/vmware-vsphere-client/scripts
- The following command will unregister the local vCenter system from the vSphere Web Client:
./admin-cmd unregister https://<VCVA IP>:9443/vsphere-client localhost root <rootpw>
- Now we will register the existing vCenter server(s) that we want to manage with this vSphere Web Client:
./admin-cmd register https://<VCVA IP>:9443/vsphere-client <vCenter System FQDN> <admin username> <admin pw>
- Log out of the vCenter Virtual Appliance by pressing CTRL-D or typing logout and pressing enter, close the VM console.
- Now to use the vSphere Web Client point your browser at https://<VCVA IP>:9443/vsphere-client and log in using any authorized vCenter account
You have now successfully registered the vSphere Web Client server instance on the VCVA with your existing vCenter systems. You can now use this to manage your virtual machines. Be aware that if you register multiple vSphere Web Client servers with a vCenter system that the License Client Plug-in from the last vSphere Web Client registered is the one that will be used for vCenter License Reporting.
If you want to know why running the vSphere Web Client is a must when you upgrade to vSphere 5 see my previous article here. If you want to take this to the next level and scale the solution to support a full enterprise and increase high availability see my article titled 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.