The problem is that native "fat" clients (Linux, Windows, and so on) take a lot of resources to develop and maintain, especially with all the new features coming out. Also, next, people will ask for native clients on iPad (which we have, BTW), Mac OS-X, or even other devices. I think getting rid of fat clients is a good idea in this world of moving goalposts. On Aug 25th 2011 I wrote in this thread that VMware is shipping the "vSphere Web Client. A new browser-based user interface that is supported across Linux and Windows platforms." with vSphere 5 ... you could extrapolate yourselves what the upcoming releases will bring in this area...
Just my personal 2c. This is not an official statement of my employer VMware.
So, my only issue with this is that those web-based tools usually do not actually include the full management functionality. They allow you to do, oh, the most common 10% of the tasks (VM creation, VM power management, and VM KVM management), but you still have to use the fat client for host tasks like user management, network configuration, parameter tweaking, resource pool creation, etc. I've not used the vSphere Web Client, so perhas it's different?
Yeah let's have another web UI that uses a binary plugin that only works with Linux, and Windows again? Then you can abandonware it again like vmware server 2! We've never seen Vmware do those before....
yes, I don't get tired of spreading the word of the OpenSource client named "vEMan" .. ;o)
vEMan (VMware ESX(i) Manager) is a tool which helps you managing ESX servers natively from within your Linux desktop without the need to use Windows vSphere® anymore!
It is based on the VMware CLI/SDK and/or other free great user-scripts but using a GUI on top.
vEMan is maybe(!) useless if you use newer releases of ESX(i):
http://kb.vmware.com/kb/2005377 --> ESX(i) >= v5 has a "web client"
BUT(!!!) keep in mind that there are(!) caveats with the Webclient: Not all features are available in the web client AND it can connect to vCenters only (see: http://kb.vmware.com/kb/1006095)
Give vEMan a try - it is currently in Beta state but active under development since January 2012
vEMan is not published or pronounced by VMware Inc.
vEMan is an OpenSource project from a private person without any warranty or claim to bother VMware Inc.
Maybe the link to vEMan is a good idea? ;o)
With the release of vSphere 5.1 VMware have started to add functionality to the web client that is not in the full client, and has added more functionality to it to start moving it to feature parity with the Windows client,
it is obviously evident that the Native Windows client is about to shuffle the mortal coil and that VMware are fully focused on the Web client moving forward, this is also fully inline with their Cloud focus too.
Hopefully this link can now finally retire and be allowed to die.
"The problem is that native 'fat' clients (Linux, Windows, and so on) take a lot of resources to develop and maintain, especially with all the new features coming out."
If you're intelligent and use cross-platform libraries (e.g. FLTK, GTK+, Qt, etc.) then having cross-platform tools is fairly simple.
"Also, next, people will ask for native clients on iPad (which we have, BTW)"
You support managing an IT shop from an overpriced tablet, but not a workstation? Of course! What else should I expect from a company that didn't bother to make sure my keyboard would function more than half the times I boot and makes sure that my ssh service gets disabled by comment marks on every reboot?
I'm not really sure on the flash application quality though, because I don't have the $2000+ vCenter (which I'm told somewhere is required), nor a $900 Windows server license that isn't sold anymore (2003 and 2008 are listed as supported, not the current 2012), nor spare quad-core computer, all to manage my 1 host. Even if I did, the VMware Product Interoperability Matrixes says that the latest VMware vSphere Web Client doesn't even support ESXi 5.1. At this point, I'd settle for a keboard that didn't require a replug after half the boots and an interface via ssh that didn't comment itself out every reboot. I'm seriously starting to regret ever touching VMware.
So it's not even feature complete, and they are adding more features to it already? That fill me with so much hope let me tell you.
It really says something about a company with hundereds of dissatisfied customers, that their priority is getting a thread detailing the reasons for that dissatisfaction to die. This thread has been open for years. (since 2006) To be perfectly blunt the only reasonable outcome of this thread would have been to shut us up by delievering the alternative that you advocated, and in a complete form. No the only thing you offer is a "mostly" functional alternative that they are busy gold plating instead of brining it inline with what you hope to replace with it. No wonder you only want this thread to go away.
If I were a share holder I would push to have your development manager replaced. Maybe then you could hope to satify your existing customers by getting things done, and not empty promises why it will be "better" "someday"(R).
ps. I know what I said here looks like venting. It's not. If I did not care about what you do. I would not waste my time. I want you, and others to see the problem. There is a problem here. I hope Vmware can resolve it some day, but I have personally given up on waiting.
Just tried to install with PlayOnLinux... didn't work: "Failed to install the hcmon driver."
I'll probably end up building a Windows VM just for this program. A Linux client would really be helpful.
Hm well you're asking for a native Linux vSphere client so why not trying an already available Open Source native Linux vSphere client?
If you miss something in vEMan let me know (Support Forum at the above link) - give it a try .. you may not need a Windows VM anymore at least for the most tasks and developing vEMan hasn't stop yet.. ;o)