Highlighted
Enthusiast
Enthusiast

vSphere Web Client is so bad that my experience managing and supporting VMware has turn to &^#$%@

Jump to solution

Purpose of this post is simple and obvious...  bring back development to thick client.  THANKS!

719 Replies
Highlighted
Enthusiast
Enthusiast

Hello!

Uark! My bad! This is correct! I incorrectly mixed it up with kgottleibs user creation date.

I fully aggree that this cannot be fixed in months. I know how long software takes to be written. Sorry for the mistake (was not trolling) 🙂

Best regards

- Morten Green Hermansen, Fanitas

0 Kudos
Highlighted
Contributor
Contributor

The web client was just so terrible that I had to use VMWare Workstation (IIRC) to revert all our virtual machines back from version 10 to older versions to be compatible with VMWare vSphere Client.

We are still using the vSphere Client, because it is a lot more efficient and for that reason we cannot upgrade to new virtual hardware versions.

VMware people, be smart and keep the vSphere Client updated at least for the HW version compatibility.

You can still continue improving the web client at the same time, but at least it won't be messing with our daily admin tasks until the web client is fast and clean and ready to be accepted more widely.


Many of the largest issues of the VMWare web client are mentioned in this thread multiple times, but here's how I see them:


Slow

It's terribly slow. I believe we can all agree to that.


Confusing

How can it be so hard to navigate to find my VMs and servers hidden behind several links? vSphere Client and it's tree view was so easy and fast to use.


Buggy

Webclient failed with lot of simple tasks like setting up a notification email addresses etc. It just crashed from time to time and also stopped from responding.


Bloat

How come the vCenter Server is that huge (as an image at least) and takes so much space?


Installing

Installing vCenter Server is very confusing with lot of options. Selecting something user database related wrong caused it to fail to start anymore. There was no option to change the setting anymore, so reinstalled the vCenter. Actually did it few times.

I didn't feel brave enough to try to install vCenter Server in Windows 7/Linux host as an application because it seemed like it needs some databases, application servers and lot of configuring. I might be wrong here, but that's how it felt like.

Couldn't we have somekind of simple setup.exe to install the vCenter Server on Windows (and preferably e.g.deb/rpm packages for Linux?) and then we just configure it with some simple menu screens? I hate to install management tools (vCenter Server) on the same ESXi server as virtual machine I'm going to manage it with, because if the server crashes, how am I supposed to restore anything to another server? By taking time on installing the vCenter Server again somewhere else?

With vSphere Client I just ran the setup and it just works.


OS Compatibilty

Because of flash it never worked directly from my Ubuntu Linux admin host. I run Windows 7 in virtualbox to run vSphere Client in the admin host. It's not ideal, but works very well and fast. I let you guess how fast the webclient was when running in with browser in the Windows 7 virtual machine. Because of flash, I don't expect it to work in anything else than Windows anymore, so flash based webclient isn't exactly "webclient" as people tend to mean by it. Maybe you should fire the SW development lead who decided to go with the flash, because it's been out for a really long time by now. He should have known that. Fast HTML5 single page apps and e.g.NodeJS are in today.



I hope guys at the VMWare take this dead seriously. We are not mad because we hate you. We are mad because we feel you are ruining the product that is very important to us.


Best Regards,

Harry Flink


0 Kudos
Highlighted
Contributor
Contributor

My experience / 2 cents:

I like the concept of the web client and over time since the 5.0 release as more and more features have been ported to it, I do like the way it works more and more. Yes, some things are in difference places and sometimes longer to get to, but you get used to it.

HOWEVER, I still use the c# client. The web client is just too slow. (And this is still after over sizing the vCenter VM, Java tuning and connecting from Chrome on a heavily spec-ed Windows VM sitting on the same host as vCenter). Sometimes, I can put up with the slowness and just accept it will take 5 times as long to do something. When it really gets to me is when I am trying to fix something that's time sensitive. For example, storage has gone offline and I'm trying to debug why, I don't even think about using the web client. I also always have the c# client open in the background purely to see the tasks view. The web client's refreshing just doesn't cut it in this aspect.

I think VMware have started to realise that the web client needs to serious rethinking. With the release of 5.5 update 2, we can now use the c# client to manage version 10 machines, which is a big step forward (while really going backwards for VMware). The other major problem with the web client is there is no host management, only vCenter management, so if VMware were to drop all c# client support in the future, how do we manage ESXi hosts when vCenter is unavailable.

What I don't understand is... in the world of web applications where there are so many web based applications that work perfectly fine and everything + dog seems to be going toward a web based cloud app, how have VMware managed to screw up the web app so badly? I think the use of Flash is the single biggest factor in why it is so bad. I like the fact it's web based now and I like the direction VMware are taking with it. A re-write in HTML5/CSS/JAVASCRIPT it would possibly solve all problems, but that ship is sailing further and further away as 3rd parties re-write their plugins for the current web client architecture.

0 Kudos
Highlighted
Contributor
Contributor

One of their engineers told me at VMworld that they ARE, in fact, rewriting it in HTML5.  What we have currently is a result of them developing it years ago when Flash was the most common way that people wrote web applications.  Now, that being said, it's pretty darn horrible of an app even compared to other Flash-based web apps out there.

0 Kudos
Highlighted
Contributor
Contributor

I've seen some good web apps, but none of them were for managing a system as complex as vCenter. If what you say is true, I'm cautiously optimistic. VMware really needs to nail it with their next attempt if this going to be the future.

Edit: I'd still rather use the C# client to be honest.

Highlighted
Virtuoso
Virtuoso

jameskrolak wrote:

One of their engineers told me at VMworld that they ARE, in fact, rewriting it in HTML5.  What we have currently is a result of them developing it years ago when Flash was the most common way that people wrote web applications.  Now, that being said, it's pretty darn horrible of an app even compared to other Flash-based web apps out there.

That's been alluded to several times on this thread. But the one person from VMware to make an official response basically came and defended flash, so I remain unconvinced.

Highlighted
Virtuoso
Virtuoso

To be precise, what the VMware representative in this thread said was: They are working on an HTML5 client, but it won't make it into the next major release (aka the upcoming vSphere 6):

vSphere Web Client SUCKs so bad that my experience managing and supporting VMware has turn to SH**!

On the flash issue: Yes, web client today is flash based and we acknowledge the vulnerability issue. We are very focused on building a html5 based client right now. We will make announcements when it is ready. Clearly its not going to be in this upcoming major release

-- http://alpacapowered.wordpress.com
0 Kudos
Highlighted
Contributor
Contributor

I just upgraded a couple of VM's to VMX10 and am now forced to edit their properties through the web client.  "No problem, I'll give it a chance" I thought......   the web client is very painful, very slow, lots of clicks, not clear etc etc.  I can do my admin in the Windows client very quickly and efficiently - it works great!

VMware please turn around this ridiculous policy and go back to supporting the Windows client and have the web client there for folks who aren't running Windows.  If it aint broke - don't fix it!  (i.e. keep the Windows client going, and don't force people off of it).

Highlighted
Enthusiast
Enthusiast

I did the same thing. Upgraded my VM's to hardware version 10 then realized what a mistake that was. I ended up editing the vmx files on all of my VM's so I could manage them again in the thick client.

VCP-DCV | MCP | Linux+ Twitter: @James_Machie_Jr LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/jmachiejr
0 Kudos
Highlighted
VMware Employee
VMware Employee

Hi Dbringer,

  With  latest vSphere Client 5.5 U2 (windows client), we can edit VM with hardware version 10.

Refer:http://vthinkbeyondvm.com/great-news-for-vmware-users-vsphere-5-5-u2-c-client-can-edit-vms-with-virt...

If it is useful, plz mark answer as correct or helpful. ---------------------------------------------------------------- Thanks & Regards Vikas, VCP50, MCTS on AD, SCJP6.0. http://vThinkBeyondVM.com ----------------------------------------------------------------- Disclaimer: Any views or opinions expressed here are strictly my own. I am solely responsible for all content published here. Content published here is not read, reviewed or approved in advance by VMware and does not necessarily represent or reflect the views or opinions of VMware.
0 Kudos
Highlighted
Contributor
Contributor

If you upgrade to 5.5 update 2, you can manage version 10 VMs through the c# client again.

See the release notes:

Unable to edit settings for virtual machines with hardware version 10 using the vSphere client
When you attempt to perform the Edit Settings operation using the vSphere Client (C# Client) in a virtual machine with hardware version 10 (vmx-10), the attempt fails with the following error message:

You cannot use the vSphere client to edit the settings of virtual machines of version 10 or higher. Use the vSphere Web Client to edit the settings of this virtual machine.

This issue is resolved in this release.
0 Kudos
Highlighted
Enthusiast
Enthusiast

Oh nice. I didn't realize that. I was just looking into 5.5 update 2 and didn't notice that part was changed Smiley Happy

VCP-DCV | MCP | Linux+ Twitter: @James_Machie_Jr LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/jmachiejr
0 Kudos
Highlighted
Contributor
Contributor

Thanks for the notification, I will grab the update and see how it goes.

On another point (but still related to VMware's desire to ruin a perfectly good admin experience), In Vsphere Replication (SRM Plugin), when I wish to rereplicate a VM to a pre-existing base disk on my recovery site (e.g. changing disk size of a protected VM), VMware will not allow me to choose the desired directory from the Windows client but throws up a message about 'this must be done from the Web client'  - what a load of BS!!!!!!

0 Kudos
Highlighted
Contributor
Contributor

Yes, the Replication features are migrating towards web based managed. If you don't like the web client, don't upgrade to SRM 5.8; they have moved management to the web client only (loose all visibility of SRM in the c# client).

0 Kudos
Highlighted
Contributor
Contributor

That's very bad news about Replication and the web client.   I'll try and reach out to some folks in VMware, it will do nothing no doubt, but at least when they fold in the future by forcing their customers to use a pile of poop I can say "I told you so".

aside of that, does anyone know if the Vcenter 5.5 U2 is an inline install?   I don't want a 'surprise' SRM re-deployment dropped in my lap.

0 Kudos
Highlighted
Contributor
Contributor

No, you should safely be able to upgrade vcenter from 5.5.x to 5.5 update 2. Upgrade each component in turn through the Custom install and should be fine. Don't even need to play around with certificates.

5.5u2 is a prereq to SRM 5.8. I upgraded vCenter to 5.5u2, checked SRM 5.5 and it was still good. Then upgraded to SRM 5.8.

(Footnote: I am talking about the Windows version of vsphere, not the appliance. I also have SRM installed an a separate server to vCenter).

0 Kudos
Highlighted
Contributor
Contributor

Perfect thanks!   I think I will hang back at SRM 5.5 then.

0 Kudos
Highlighted
Contributor
Contributor

There is a simple solution to replacing the Web Client and it gives you everything you need and more!

Unity3D... While yes this is a game development platform it can and is absolutely used to develop professional grade applications.

Consider this -

Developed in Unity a Web Client alternative would be developed in C#:

Available for the following platforms to be deployed straight from Unity -

No plugin needed web player.

Mac

Windows

Linux

iOS devices

Android devices

And more if necessary. Heck, if you really wanted, you could deploy it to a gaming console and manage your VMware from your couch using your Xbox, or PS4, or whatever.

The point is... Unity is a very solid platform for this kind of tool, always has been, and now with Unity 5 coming out around the corner VMware could develop something, in short order, that would be both stable, fast, and effective.

Take care!

0 Kudos
Highlighted
Enthusiast
Enthusiast


"And more if necessary. Heck, if you really wanted, you could deploy it to a gaming console and manage your VMware from your couch using your Xbox, or PS4, or whatever."

Or more justification to purchase an Xbox for the break room!

Highlighted
Contributor
Contributor

....buy Fusion to manage ESXi...

That's just a ridiculous position.  Why would anybody want to buy a copy of virtualization software 'plus' a client os just to be able to manage a os-agnostic virtualization 'server' ?

I could probably manage ESXi from my tablet browser if they had a vendor-neutral and fully capable web management interface, or alternately a CLI that wasn't a maze of twisty little passages.   Having run VMware Workstation since its earliest releases, and Fusion for a while, and Parallels now, and VirtualBox occasionally, my experience thus far with ESXi is that it has the lamest administrative mindset I could possibly imagine.  Just a convoluted mess from a workflow standpoint, and from documentation, and the hellish maze of their support website.

Hire a dozen usability engineers and just redo the whole thing top to bottom.  The technology works.  The administrative interfaces and docs and support sites are just beyond brutal.