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

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

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Hot Shot
Hot Shot

The web client is a piece of software in a clear need of improvement and they have definitely made some bizzarre design decisions.

Here's to hoping that vSphere 6 will bring an overhauled Web client!

-- VR Bitman | http://virtualis.info | vSphere 5.5 Guide: http://goo.gl/QUqTH7 VMware professional, virtualization & FOSS evangelist, informatician, geek VCA-Cloud, VCA-WM, VCA-DCV, VCP-DCV
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Contributor
Contributor

I cannot agree more with OP and all answers.

I am really disapointed being forced to use this laggy monotask web client.

I was working for a gold partner firm, and deploying many vSphere instances, and the move to Web Client is not understood by any of our customers (Wait, we really have to use 2 different clients to manage the same infrastructure ? What, are you really saying that the vCenter VM must be one of the biggest sized VM in the infra just to be responsive ?).

Now, I work for an end user, and dealing with web client on a daily basis is just not possible.

My user experience with Web client, which is said to be multi-platforms :

  • Launch web browser to WC page
  • Wait for login form to load (even the mouse is disappearing, or laggy as hell)
  • Being prompted to install a plugin, which is going to bloat every web browser, not to mention that I have to close every browser launched
  • Relaunch web browser
  • Wait for login form to load
  • Login
  • Wait for web client to "initalize" itself, as first loadings were just for fun
  • Clicking on one item can display up to 3 or 4 loading bars (in forms), or spinning wheel (in the up right), or a tiny clock replacing my mouse pointer. ALL. AT. THE. SAME. TIME. Come on.
  • Even right clicking an item is displaying up to 3 spinning wheels...

Long story short : get ready to wait a lot.

What I would like is that the client must :

  • Be fast as hell, come on I have other things to do than waiting in front of a webapp (on the good side, I'm learning PowerCLI, which in terms of OS-agnostic solution, is funny too)
  • Be light. At this time, Web Client is approx. 570MB in size. Just to be comparing, for a daily use (manage, monitor, and use VMs) Citrix XenClient is 48MB, and fast as light, and Hyper-V client is native and really fast too.
  • Be able to manage vCenter or hosts
  • Not be based on plugin / java / flash or anything like this. Web is ok if it's really fast, but go native is the best idea.

As a bonus, I would like to see :

  • Ability to send keystrokes to VMs like Hyper-V does (you paste text in a box, hit enter, and text is typed inside VMs, really useful when dealing with different keyboard layouts and / or when console is just refusing sending special characters
  • Ability to do group actions extended (Change multiple VMs network connections, ...)
  • Generate PowerCLI command at the end of a GUI action

I cannot wait to see VMware reaction to this thread, I hope you will listen our customers.

Best regards

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Enthusiast
Enthusiast

+1 here.

At least, they should provide a way to downgrade the Virtual Hardware from v10 to v9 while they are trying to "improve" it so we can still use the awesome vSphere Client. Smiley Happy

Hopefully someone will say something at VMworld next month.

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CP7, 

The key is to remember to set the VM hardware version to a lower version than 10 when creating the VM. (it is an easily overlooked setting on in the new vm dialogs on the web client)

Having not done that.  You have a few options to try:

  • start over (safest)

-or-

  • Use the "standalone converter" to convert your existing VM to an earlier version. (pretty safe - especially since you will still have the original)

-or-

  • Some people, including me, report success with the following (obviously not recommended for critical stuff but the fastest way):
  1. shut down the VM.
  2. remove the VM from inventory (careful  do not delete)
  3. edit the .vmx file (via the host console, ssh, or by downloading via datastore browser, editing and uploading)
  4. Change virtualHW.version setting in the file to the earlier version.
  5. locate the vmx file  in datastore browser, right click and add to inventory
  6. upon power on, if it asked you if you copied it or moved it, tell it you moved it

  You should certainly back up your VM first in case things go bad.  Testing this on a clone of your target vm is also a good idea.

Personally I think the inability to edit/manage version 10 format VMs in the c# client is on purpose to force people to the web interface.  It probably would be very little work for them to modify it to support the new VM hardware version since it is very substantially similar from a configuration standpoint.  (hence the ability to do the trick above)

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Aloha,

I want to get something very fundamental clarified. I am debating an 5.0 to 5.5 upgrade. If I do not upgrade the current

VM Hardware on my VM's to v10 and I don't create any new VMs at v10, I can completely avoid the web client.

Is this a correct statement??

Mahalo,

           Bill

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@ Wojtowvm

Thanks. I'll try it on one of my vm as a test.

@ Kahonu85.

You can upgrade to 5.5, just don't upgrade the Virtual Hardware to 10 on all of the VM then you don't need to use the Web Client. That's correct.

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Enthusiast
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Between the web client and SSO stories, I'm holding out on v5.0 as long as possible.

I use Update Manager and SRM, among other things, and would like to remain functional at my job.

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Enthusiast
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Great thread!  Good to see I am not the only one experiencing these issues.  I am glad the VMWare team is working hard on getting the interface done right.

I was watching a video on some new features in vSphere 6 and it looks like the web interface is faster.  I wonder if any beta testers could confirm the speed improvement?  I unfortunately do not have the resources to beta test myself.

One minor thing I miss in the web client is when I first login, it would be great to see the tree structure of the datacenter/cluster by default like the C# client does.  Currently when I log in, I have to drill down about 3 clicks to get to the datacenter tree view. 

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"it would be great to see the tree structure of the datacenter/cluster by default like the C# client does.." - I'm pretty sure this is happening as we speak.

VCP5-DCV, CCNA Data Center
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Kahonu84 - yes that is 99% true if you are not expecting to do anything different than you were in 5.0 (i.e. not use some of the 5.5 only features) - I seem to remember there being one or two initial setup things that required the web client (I believe it was related to configuring identity sources in SSO - which setting up is a challenge in itself)   but otherwise you can do everything that you are normally used to doing on a daily basis through the non-web client.

You will be prompted to download an update to the client the first time you try to connect it to the new vcenter server with it, and from then on it will display notice above the username/password dialog warning you that new features won't be available there, but you very quickly get used to completely ignoring that. 🙂

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wojtowvm,

Mahalo for your comment. Please validate my logic here. If I want to avoid stressing my sanity further with the web client AND I won't be using v10 therefore disabling all 5.5 features AND I am content with 5.0, is there any reason to even consider upgrading??

Bill

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The only real improvements that I recall from our upgrade to 5.5 (I wasn't the one who did the upgrade, so I'm going by what my teammate told me) was that the SSO stuff was improved immensely.

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Kahonu84,  if you are content with 5.0 and don't need any of the 5.5 features, then it seems like staying with what you have would be a perfectly acceptable choice for now.  The announced end of VMware support for 5.0 is  2016/08/24   so you've got a little time yet before you won't get security patches anymore.  

I upgraded because I happened to be in the process of redoing my whole vmware infrastructure and it seemed like a good time to make the move for future proofing, the not always true assumption that newer is always better, and without having tried the new web interface yet, it seemed like that'd be handy (manage it from any browser you happened to be in front of!)

But it was a lot of work and getting the new SSO working was frustrating.  In the end I'm happy enough with the results, but most all of the benefits I care about were from the new hardware (and a license upgrade) rather than the esxi version upgrade.   I've tried to make good use of the web interface, mostly for casual tasks, but still depend on the old client when I'm busy with lots of tasks.   

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Agree with OP.

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FYI - http://www.virtxpert.com/change-the-default-vm-hardware-version-in-the-web-client/

*Does not seem to work for builds initiated via SDK

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There was a time in IT where the central focus was developing web based apps in lieu of more costly delivery mechanisms such as Citrix and Pure client. Java thus became the rage, IIS asp and the rise of .NET...even after Gartner' s indemnification of the Microsoft web browser as "Natively Insecure".

People and Software Houses were at the mercy and very much still are with keeping their code and functionality alive with the constantly changing code releases of browsers for security fixes.

Refresh issues, cache clearing, credential pass-through\authentication  issues and Java Client versioning became the bane of the user community sla as well as support desk satisfaction surveys.

A pure client thus became the only reasonable method of controlling the quality of your client server app.

Why VMware ever went the route of a web client in such a half a***ed fashion where only 70% of your Engineering administration could be done was a bad move.

Keep the client, keep the quality and build the client to be the single pane of glass to the environment.

Regards,

DGN

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Immortal
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Hi All,

After listening to the feedback for the last few months around the vSphere Web Client, the product team has decided to continue supporting the VI Client (C# Client) for one more release, the next release of vSphere in 2015.  As the Web Client continues to progress (and there is a lot of improvement we are going to share shortly) there has been clear feedback that customers would like to continue to use the client they are most familiar with, and as we continue to improve the Web Client we want to make sure that administrators can continue to use the C# client to manage their infrastructure. 

The VI Client will have no new functionality, and we encourage our users to begin migration to the vSphere Web Client as we plan to EOL support for the VI Client in the very near future.  The Web Client is still the key client for new functionality and we are working overtime to make it much better


For our host client use cases, we are also planning to support the C# host client (through the VI Client) as the officially supported path.


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Is this really an official post from VMware?  The username doesn't look like what I would expect an actual VMware employee to have.

If this is true, then how do we get the VI Client to work with VMs that have VM Version 10?  Is there some sort of update or patch we have to install for that?

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Hi James, I am a real person ;  I'm the Product Manager for the Web Client.  We are working on adding some support for HW versions.  The plans are in motion now, and I should be able to share more details shortly. 

As for official statement, as this is a beta community and we are not yet an officially released product and will make more "official" statements as we move closer to release

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Thank you for the further information.  It's appreciated.

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