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ESXi 5.5 Free Hypervisor Web Console

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I just downloaded the free version of ESXi 5.5 to start evaluating it relative to 5.1. From reading, VMware is moving to a web console only, with the native client only for 'emergency access' to the host (Why is everyone going to web consoles? they tend to be more problematic than native consoles...).

With the free version, how are you supposed to get the Web Console? There's a reference under the vSphere client download saying: 'Note: vSphere Web Client can be installed using the vCenter Server installer', but that's not available to download when you register for the free version. So if you have the free version, what's the right way to get the web client and what are you supposed to install it on? If the web console is now going to be required to access newer features of the Hypervisor, maybe VMware should consider providing the vCenter appliance with the free version, with the paid features disabled, of course.

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Contributor
Contributor

You hit the nail on the head. At this time there is no way to use the vCenter Web Client without a licensed vCenter. For those of us that use free ESXI in a home lab, you will not be able to change settings on a VM after the trial license has expired. I sure hope they come up with a something soon. My 60 day timer is ticking...

Expert
Expert

That's the reason why I did not upgrade to 5.5 yet. I remember it was announced already with 5.1 VMware wants to remove native client altogether sometimes in the future with web-client being the only way. Even at that time there was no clear answer about what is going to happen with vSphere-hypervisor (free). But at least users could still use native client.

Now 5.5 was released and I see there is still no clear reaction from VMware concerning management of hypervisor (free vSphere). This might cause some uproar in the community (would not be the first time)...

_____________________________________________ If you found my answer useful please do *not* mark it as "correct" or "helpful". It is hard to pretend being noob with all those points! 😉
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Contributor
Contributor

Yes I just upgraded my ESXi 5.0 to the 5.5 and got notified about about a web client console and there is some new features we can use. This would be nice because I can natively remote to it from any computer including my Mac laptop. So I after google search and this thread it looks like we are SOL using the Web Client. Smiley Sad

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Enthusiast
Enthusiast

Well, after some more playing with 5.5. I've found the BIG problem with the web client that we cannot have with the free version: You can upgrade the VMs to version 10 using the traditional console, but once you do, you can no longer edit the VM with the traditional console, so if you upgrade one or more VMs to v10 with the free version, your machine is pretty much done.

Come on VMware - that's crazy. You need to do one of a few things: Make it so that you can't upgrade VMs to v10 hardware through the traditional console, just through the web console, give us a version of the vCenter appliance that provides basic web client functionality for the free hypervisor (preferably one that does not require 8+GB RAM for a small single server installation), or make essentials the new free version (Essentials really doesn't give you a TON more than the free version anyway - it's pretty much the free version with vCenter).

I don't think there's any denying that VMware is pretty much the best out there for virtualization, but it seems like VMware is TRYING to drive customers to other solutions. All of the other solutions cost less and give equal or more and their free versions are pretty much equal to VMware's Essentials Plus kit in functionality.

Contributor
Contributor

Really need a solution to this - I will be holding off on upgrading my ESXi box until there is clarification from VMware.

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Contributor
Contributor

What if you leave the VM as V9?

I migrated a VM from 5.1 to the 5.5 server, and upgraded the VM to V10, and then could not amend the VM Settings, and i'm sure it mentioned that V10 machines must be managed through Web Client.  I then delete the VM.

I will try again and confirm.

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Contributor
Contributor

OK just migrated another one, and can confirm if you leave the Version as 9, you can manage it using the vSphere client.

For new V10 machines, you can use VMware Workstation 10 to manage them.

When creating a new VM using 5.5 client, it creates it as V8, then you have to upgrade it.

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Expert
Expert

One question: can you upgrade VM created by 5.5 client (v8) to just v9, so that it is still possible to manage by 5.5 client?

_____________________________________________ If you found my answer useful please do *not* mark it as "correct" or "helpful". It is hard to pretend being noob with all those points! 😉
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Contributor
Contributor

Through the client, No Smiley Sad

Through Workstation 10, Yes Smiley Happy

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Expert
Expert

So with 5.1 (client and vSphere) you can create VM-v9. But with 5.5 client you can create only VM-v8.

Honestly, this is ridiculous. What is VMware following by this strange "upgrade" remains mystery for me...

_____________________________________________ If you found my answer useful please do *not* mark it as "correct" or "helpful". It is hard to pretend being noob with all those points! 😉
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Contributor
Contributor

I don't understand what they're playing at either...  I carried out a clean install of the 5.5 box, so it's not even upgrade related.

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Expert
Expert

You have free version VMware vCenter Server and modules as well in VMware portal.

Download it and install the pre required products like Single sign , inventory service and vcenter server and manage it with web client.

--Nithin
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Enthusiast
Enthusiast

At a minimum they should patch the free version not to allow you to upgrade a VM to version 10. That way you could keep using the viclient.

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Enthusiast
Enthusiast

You can in the web console - That gives the option to select what level you want to go to - 5.0, 5.1 or 5.5 compatibility. In the 'traditional' console, it just shoots you up to v10 and you're done.

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Contributor
Contributor

Not sure I follow what you're saying. Are you saying that there is a free version of vCenter Server available now via the client portal?

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Enthusiast
Enthusiast

I doubt that there is a free vCenter version. Can you provide a link to that version?

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Enthusiast
Enthusiast

I set up a full vCenter environment running the trial license.

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Contributor
Contributor

What happens when your trial expires? I assume you lose everything.

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Enthusiast
Enthusiast

Well, it doesn't 'go away' but it does stop working. I set up the trial to test 5.5 and the upgrade processes prior to doing the upgrade in my production environment.

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