Many of you have seen the news by now, yesterday VMware announced that the Windows vSphere Client, usually referred to as the C# Client, is dead. Yes indeed, it has been declared dead and going forward will no longer be made available for future release of vSphere. Now this means that it is still available for all releases out there today (up to 6.0) and it will of course stick to the standard support period.
I have always loved the C# Client, but I don’t have mixed feelings on this one… It needs to go, it has been dead for a long time but it was still walking, it is time for a change and time we put it to rest once and for all. Yes it will be painful for some, but I believe this is the only way to move forward.
That also means for you, the admin / consultant, that there needs to be an alternative. Well one has been in the making for a while and that is the HTML-5 based “Host Client”. The Host Client started out as a fling, but as of vSphere 6.0 U2 is part of the default install of ESXi. Personally I really like the client and I can’t wait for it to be feature complete. What I probably like most, besides the slick interface and the speed, is the fact that you can access it from anywhere and that the developers are out there waiting for feedback and ready to engage and improve on what they released. It gets updated very frequently, just visit the Fling’s page (version 8.1 is up there right now) and if you have feedback engage with the engineers through the fling page, or simply drop a note on twitter to Etienne.
But that’s not it, VMware has also shown that it has the intention to get rid of Flash from the Web Client… Again released as a fling and you can download it and try it out as well, next to the regular Web Client. It was recently updated to version 1.6 and believe me when I say that these developers and the PM are also constantly looking for feedback and ways to improve the experience. The message was loud and clear over the past couple of years and they are doing everything they can to improve the Web Client experience, which includes performance and just generic usability aspects.
I would like to ask everyone to try out both the Host Client and the HTML-5 Web Client and leave feedback on those fling pages. What’s working, what is not, what about performance, different devices etc. And if you have strong feelings about the announcement, always feel free to leave a comment here, or on the announcement blog, as PM and Dev will be reading and commenting there where and when needed.
Is VMware shifting their efforts towards making the HTML5 client the official feature complete one, or to keep both? What about C# only features like Update Manager, where will we find them in the next release? Things might clear up closer to launch of the new major version, but the current state of all four clients makes for quite a mess. Having multiple tools with different requirements that does part of the job is not exactly “enterprise”.
Adam Eckerle (@eck79) says
Daniel, the vSphere Client (HTML5 Web Client) will be the client going forward once it is released. VUM is available in the current Web Client as of 6.0 U1. If you feel like there are other features that you can’t find in the Web Client let us know.
We’re certainly marching towards two clients – ESX Host Client (HTML5) and the vSphere Client (HTML5). We are also in the process of making them consistent so while today those two clients look distinctly different they will converge from a UI/UX perspective.
I really hope the Web Client get’s more reliable. At the moment it’s just dangerous to use it (reload issues, old data displayed etc). We really tried to use it in our team after the 6.0 release but switched back to C# client after a few weeks for everything that can still done with it. To be honest I can’t imagine to use Web client only. Worst thing is that each VMeare support engineer wants the C# client during a webex. Nothing more to say.
Duncan, do you dislike the C# client because you think the flash client performs better, or just because VSAN features aren’t accessible from the C# client? I ask because I think you’re in the minority of being glad the C# client is “dead” when we don’t have a full featured H5 client yet.
Duncan Epping says
Who says I disliked the C# Client? I think the post is clear “I have always loved…”. But I think in order to go all in, in order to offer a multi-platform solution the HTML-5 Web Client and the Host Client are the only way. It has nothing to do with VSAN…
David Chung says
I’ve tried the new client fling version. It’s good but lacked capabilities which is understandable as a fling. I hope it is as responsive as the c# client. I really hate current Web flash client.
Craig Lindsay says
Vmware has failed again. They stopped adding (in reality removed) functionality from the C+ client in recent versions while the html/flash disaster client was, to be generous, an alpha quality product at best. They are now repeating the same formula proving they can learn nothing from the past by providing yet another incomplete solution.
The way this should have been done would be to have overlapping fully functional clients and transition customers to their new direction over time, not 2 or 3 simultaneously crippled choices.
Joseph McGlynn says
Kinda sad to stop a hugh performance solution, without a similar performance web client.
It was nice to ‘own’ the real estate in the C# client. Now a UI developer will dictate that I need a 29 inch monitor on my laptop to see all I need.
maybe VMware should declare something as dead when there is a fast/reliable feature complete alternative and not before. i’ve forced myself to use the web Client since Version 5.0 and always ended back using the classic one cause if you have to spend more than 50% of your day working with the Flash web Client it made me quite frustrated, even thinking to move forward to Opennebula or other alternatives.
– hoping to receive a 100% solution in 2016!
VMware would certainly have been better served by redeveloping the Web Client in HTML5 before introducing yet another (feature / style inconsistent client) as observed the Web Client does not work properly
The use of desktop real estate by the Web Client is obviously ineffective with tasks occupying useful space. More seriously the client is buggy, frequently slow, prone to crashes and failing to update displayed data
This and more importantly the undeniable downturn in quality of support services, recent licensing changes, quality and completeness of documentation, level of pricing, scattergun approach to product development are causing us to seriously evaluate alternatives
I remember we investigated vCloud once and we quickly calculated that the costs for a large volume of resource were at least triple the costs of operating our own on-prem DC. Just stupid. It’s not something you can sell. We’ve moved to a colo solution with owned resources
I love vSphere itself, -and we have numerous VCPs in my shop, myself included, but the question is presenting itself: Does VMware really represent value anymore? It’s a question we intend to answer for our usecase. VMware need to get a grip before it’s too late and they do a Novell and lose out to potentially less capable alternatives
This has been forecast for some time and loathed by everyone I have come in contact with. It reminds me of the licensing fiasco a few years ago. When announced as a grand move by VMware that the licensing would be reverted, the customer base yawned as it never should have happened.
The C client is the workhorse, while the web client is the lightweight interface used for simple operations.
VMware seems to be dedicated to building its own wooden box as competitors level the playing field.
I don’t mind having the web client, but in the 5.x days, when the web client has issues, worse case scenario is u reinstall the service via VC installation. Now with the PSC, everything is embedded into one module. Currently, if we have an issue with logging into the web client (because it takes years to start up now) we have the fat client to fall back on. With VMware’s current model and everything being integrated more and more into VC, this isn’t a good idea. If the Web client goes down, a reinstall of the entire PSC/management could be needed. Not good when you have so many products running on top of VC and being used by multiple teams. Your answer could be “This is why VC now has a HA option” well this is all well and good, but as complicated as that model is to set up (with load balancers needed, breaking out our SSO, we tried it, and couldn’t get it to work…even with BCS support), we decided to go with embedded PSC (which limits your functionality) just to get upgraded to 6.0. Web client shouldn’t be the only way to manage the environment. It is not as reliable as the C#. Also, what about logging into just an ESXi host by itself? Can you do this in the web client if VC is down?
Jamea Pearce says
A big step forward in both respects.
Host client is nice and fast and the H5 vCentre Client also seems a lot quicker.
Where do you put the Virtual Machine Start and Stop feature, that was found in VI Client C# at Host Configuration at Software, VM Start and stop, I realy need this feature – thanks
They fixed it, and add this feature : https://labs.vmware.com/flings/esxi-embedded-host-client#instructions – thanks a lot I realy need it !
I don’t know why everyone complains about, it is time that VMware wants to discontinue Client C (for obvious reasons) and went back just to realize that the Web client in flash had not been good. Now with HTML5 is another story!