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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

Hopefully the next release will never see the light of day.

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Hot Shot

In the vCenter 5.5 Update 2 release notes I see this. It appears that VMWare has finally gotten the message about how bad the web client is and editing of VMs under hardware version 10 cannot be done with the vSphere client

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

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Enthusiast
Enthusiast

Well for me the issue is that the Web Client crashes all the time. It has crashed 5 times in last hour with an annoying 1506 error. That is why I'm on this forum rather than getting work done because the web-client will not stay open and running.

Paul D. Pindell VCAP-DCA4
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Virtuoso
Virtuoso

HendersonD wrote:

In the vCenter 5.5 Update 2 release notes I see this. It appears that VMWare has finally gotten the message about how bad the web client is and editing of VMs under hardware version 10 cannot be done with the vSphere client

Now that is intriguing. What I don't follow is that it's only the vCenter release notes - the ESXi 5.5 U2 notes don't mention is. So if I have a standalone host, and a V10 VM, does it actually help, or are we stuck with converting to earlier versions due to this unusual position of a push to a web client that doesn't work without vCenter?

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VMware Employee
VMware Employee

Hi there-

I'd like to thank everyone for their continued attention and discussion toward making the vSphere Web Client better.  We've been hard at work over the summer and have made some good progress.  At VMworld 2014 in San Francisco we showed off some of the improvements that we are making and we received positive feedback and even a bit of applause.  For those of you who didn't get a chance to join the session in San Francisco I'd encourage you to watch the recording of INF1506.2 - Extreme Performance Series: vCenter Performance.

Here are some of the highlights in case you didn't attend:

Browser Recommendation

As it turns out, some browsers really are better than others.  If you have the option, we strongly recommend that you use Chrome or Internet Explorer instead of Firefox.  Running the browser on a modern PC or appropriately sized VM will make a big difference -- 2 vCPU's and 4GB RAM is a minimum recommendation.

ScreenShot004.png

Performance fixes Screen by Screen

We are hunting down and fixing performance problems screen by screen.  The performance problem isn't as simple as "flash sucks".  What we are finding are specific bugs, specific queries, and specific plugins that behave badly and result in some very slow screens.  We are hunting these down and fixing them one by one.  For example, one of our testing builds got login time chopped down from 28 seconds to under 2 seconds.

ScreenShot005.png

Tasks on Bottom

We're moving the Tasks pane back to the bottom of the screen where it belongs. 

tasks.png

Home Burger

We are introducing a new navigational element that will allow you to navigate laterally across functional areas.  Internally we are calling this "Home Burger", or "House-burger" if you are an Eddie Murphy fan.

houseburger.png

Right Click Menus

We are addressing a number of performance problems with Right Click menus and are also going back to a more C# look and feel.

actionmenus.png

Missing Plugins

For those of you who were waiting for the SRM plugin it is now available with SRM 5.8.  We've got more in the pipeline and are happy to cross this one off the list.

We've got a lot more work in store andwe are making progress.  If you'd like to play with this stuff, please enroll in the vSphere Beta and stay tuned for an updated build (the posted builds do not yet include the fixes mentioned above).  A big THANK YOU goes out to the folks that worked with us in focus groups over the summer to help zero us in on the improvements noted above.

-Matt

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Virtuoso
Virtuoso

mattdreyer wrote:

Hi there-

I'd like to thank everyone for their continued attention and discussion toward making the vSphere Web Client better.  We've been hard at work over the summer and have made some good progress.  At VMworld 2014 in San Francisco we showed off some of the improvements that we are making and we received positive feedback and even a bit of applause.  For those of you who didn't get a chance to join the session in San Francisco I'd encourage you to watch the recording of INF1506.2 - Extreme Performance Series: vCenter Performance.

That link just asks for a username/password, and I can't find any information about how one would be obtained/sign up.

the performance isn't as simple as "flash sucks"

True, but it IS incredibly simple to acknowledge that the performance issues are never going to go away for as long as we're stuck with this. You could tweak and play with this for days and it's never going to be great. That's just a fact of Flash, and the "it's complicated" argument just continues to give you room to forever produce an unusable product. Overall, this reads as a very disappointing post if what I'm seeing is that engineering effort continues to be spent on Flash.

Internet explorer instead of firefox on a moderately sized PC

I'm using IE11 on a machine with 24GB RAM. If this is "good", I'd have to see bad.

Tasks screen

Long overdue and that's one great positive I'm looking forward to.

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Enthusiast
Enthusiast

mattdreyer schrieb:

I'd like to thank everyone for their continued attention and discussion toward making the vSphere Web Client better.

Sorry Matt, that's not the case. We don't want the Web Client better. We don't want the Web Client at all. I'm sorry for the work you made.

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Enthusiast
Enthusiast

Yesterday, powered off a VM with C# client (since from the Web Client it was not working).

I had to make a change in VM settings which can only be done from within the Web Client.

Although I pressed the refresh icon in Web Client nearly 100 times, state of the VM remained on Powered On.

Interestingly the context menu (right-click onto VM) has "Power Off" greyed out, but "Power On" as active.

Powering on was of course not possible, since the state was "Powered On". The VM was definitely off (also checked on the ESXi shell).

I even restarted vCenter and the ESX hosts (luckily it was in my lab environment), but the state remained on Powered On in the Web Client.

Tried different browsers, but no luck. The status is still there.

I do an update to U2 today so maybe it will correct things.

But the Web Client is really the worst thing (besides backup products like VCB and VDP) I have seen in 9 years doing VMware support (I am working in support and started with ESX 1.5).

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Hot Shot
Hot Shot

Improvements are good, but I want to have the ability to choose wether to use the Web Client or not. If we are to understand it correctly, the only way to not being forced to use the Web Client is to move away from VMware. This is a move that we are seriously considering ourselfes, and we are also recommending our customers to take a look at other options.

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Contributor
Contributor

These are the kind of things with which you lose so much time and that takes frustration to a high point during a busy day (like most days). At those points you start hating a product. And that is the explanation of course for the numerous complaints here in this threat.


Vmware please stop pushing this webclient down the throat of your customers and just bring back the C# client. Isn't it clear enough by now that people don't want Flash webclient? Even if you try to enhance it. A flash client will never work comfortably for an admin. Not to mention the security bugs that flash has had (and will possibly have in the future). Disabling features in the C# client that are deliberately done to force people to use webclient (eg edit settings when it’s v10) feels just so wrong for a customer that it gets frustrating. Is that so hard to understand?

Just show some respect to customers who paid thousands and thousands of dollars for a vSphere infrastructure and please listen to what we are saying. Are you going to continue claiming that you listen to customers and ignore what they are asking for? Isn't it clear enough by now?

Two reasons that are given (by an employee) for VMware to continue this web development is

(1) Some (but I assume very few) of the bigger customers have problems with the C# client because of the amount of hosts and/or VMs,

(2) developing both a web and a C# client is generating too high dev costs

(3) Linux and Mac users can't use the C# client which is only for Windows.

About (1): Then why not just fix the problem with the C# (for the large deployments) or find another solution for them.

About (2): Just drop the webclient and stop forcing people to using something they don't want. Then there is only left the dev for the C#

About (3): Even in an SMB environment the vSphere client is installed on a Windows Remote desktop Admin-Tools server and an admin logs into that server to use the client. If they don't do that they can even just run a local VM and use that to run the vSphere C# client. So that is no point I'm sure.

For me it's the way you guys handle this problem hard to understand and you are making a capital mistake which will cost you market share. So many people will be encouraged more than before to start looking at alternatives.

I think the only way to ever get an acceptable webclient is building it over again from the ground up and use for example HTML5. Even then it will be hard but not impossible. I have been a vmware/vSphere fan for many years and foundationally it's still a good product. But the way this webclient is pushed ruins it all for me and so many others. Proof is all these people that take the time to post in this thread.

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Contributor
Contributor

In addition: I'm wondering what has to happen before you change your mind and listen to customers? A big group moving away from VMware? (often against their will). A few years ago the situation was maybe different. But the alternatives now are also getting always better.

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Enthusiast
Enthusiast

(3) Linux and Mac users can't use the C# client which is only for Windows.

gerts wrote:

(3) Linux and Mac users can't use the C# client which is only for Windows.

I personally never understood this logic. Get a copy of Fusion or Workstation. Thats what I do.

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Enthusiast
Enthusiast

Matt, thank you for your response in this thread. Especially when you knew you would get pounded on Smiley Happy That was a good post and did explain the current issues and what you guys are striving to fix.

I and others can appreciate the fact that you guys are working hard to port the thick-client experience over to the web. In my opinion it just cannot happen. On top of that you built your web client around arguably one of the biggest vectors of malware, etc. To me that is a bit illogical. I personally do not know enough as to whether HTML5 can really replace Flash, or if that is all marketing, opinions etc. If it can though, and it is more secure, I would hope vmware is moving down that path.

And while the web client can be tweaked for performance, etc with this browser, and these cache settings, etc etc, the Thick client just does not need that.

The Thick client also just feels more "alive". I can just stare at a thick client for hours not touching the keyboard and it still updates, I can still tell what is going on in real time for the most part. Do that with a web client it just stares back at me. Heck even when I perform a task in the web client it seems to just stare back at me until I refresh many times. THAT IS THE BIGGEST ISSUE I HAVE WITH IT! 


I will repeat again. THAT IS THE BIGGEST ISSUE I HAVE WITH IT! 


I know there is no turning back now, but I also know you understand our frustrations---even when you cannot publicly voice them.


I personally think vmware engineers are tremendously bright people, so I am still holding out on a far better web experience in the future. Right now of course--it simply cannot compete with the thick client.


And for all you mac and linux guys who bitched and bitched about no thick client support--well look what you have done to us Smiley Happy You should have just bought several copies of Fusion like I did.




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Enthusiast
Enthusiast

"These are the kind of things with which you lose so much time and that takes frustration to a high point during a busy day (like most days). At those points you start hating a product. And that is the explanation of course for the numerous complaints here in this threat."

Reminds me of a number of years back using some EMC storage products.  The products themselves were good, but the administration through their numerous, sometimes clumsy clients left much to be desired... to put it kindly.

I know rather recently that a vendor was chosen over another because, although the competing products performed pretty much neck-and-neck, one vendor had a much better administration client interface.

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Contributor
Contributor

It's not going to matter how fast you make it for the following reasons.

1) Browser configuration and compatibility issues:

Right now I am stuck with IE9 because of compatibility of other web clients/applications.  And because the vsphere web client crashes too frequently in IE9 I use Firefox .  The more "browser" based tools/apps we have to use will only make this situation worse as we have to configure our browser for one app, then re-configure just to run another.  And installing plugin after plugin hardly can be called a non-fat client or universal anyway.

2) Restrictive Security Polices being applied to Administrators affecting the use of 3rd party software, such as IE, firefox, chrome etc:

There is another situation growing that is going to make matters even more difficult for "Administrators" in particular.   We are already facing restrictive policies that prevent us from accessing some internet sites, installing software, usb flash drives, etc.. on servers we manage and our own devices, physical, virtual, it does not matter.  And I'm not kidding.  Some of these polices are enforced by technical means and others by the honour system.  It is quite possible that security policies being applied to browsers will affect the ability of administrators to use those tools.

We need a "Vmware" built administration tool that will not be affected by these issues.  That fact the the performance of web base clients suck only makes matters worse.

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Hot Shot
Hot Shot

This thought just popped up.. IF you are aiming for multi platform support, why not go for a completely new vSphere Client written in Java? Yes, Java has had it's fair share of security issues in the past, but I think this is the only way forward if you aim to provide support on multiple platforms. Much of your vSphere services are written in Java, so you have the knowledge for Java. Also, by going for Java instead of Web Client and C# client you will have two less languages to learn and maintain.

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Hot Shot

Does anyone have any information on the announcement that ESXi 5.5 Update 2 would allow editing a VM hardware version 10 with the C# client?  I just updated my dev vCenter to the latest version and updated a host to 5.5 U2 and can't edit a VM with hardware v10.

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I have both my vCenters updated to 5.5 U2 and all of my hosts. I cloned a VM today, upgrade to HW version 10 and then tried editing with C# client. I did get a message that I could not edit certain hardware features of this VM but otherwise it opened fine for editing. Still not clear exactly what things can be edited under HW version 10 using the C# client and what things have to be edited under using the web client. It would be nice to have a list

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Immortal
Immortal

Let me get that list soon. Thanks

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Enthusiast
Enthusiast

andreaspa wrote:

This thought just popped up.. IF you are aiming for multi platform support, why not go for a completely new vSphere Client written in Java? Yes, Java has had it's fair share of security issues in the past, but I think this is the only way forward if you aim to provide support on multiple platforms. Much of your vSphere services are written in Java, so you have the knowledge for Java. Also, by going for Java instead of Web Client and C# client you will have two less languages to learn and maintain.

Definitely not the way to go.  HTML is multi-platform last time I checked, so HTML5 is what I'd prefer if they're going to cram the web-only option down their paying customers throats.

Java would be a nightmare.  It already is a nightmare for anyone running the cluster F of EMC and Cisco UCS and Cisco call manager in one enterprise.  EMC Unisphere requires selecting from a few specific ancient versions of Java to work correctly, Cisco UCS requires a different small selection of Java versions to manage it, Call Manager also requires Java but one that is not compatible with the other two.  The last thing we need is vmware moving to Java so we can have four different management machines all to accommodate each vendor's preferred version of Java.  It would be a big pig to run over a slow link as well, just like the current nightmarish web client.

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