Monday, 30 January 2017

VMware vSphere 6.5 "The Respective Client's"

As we are aware that VMware announced General Availability of VMware vSphere 6.5 on November 15 2016 and it provides a lot of cool features and functionalities that has been enhanced, I decided to dedicate this article to talk about various client options which are available to us for managing ESXi host and vCenter Server.

Let's discuss about few important things we need to know about VMware host client HTML5 based (available since vSphere 6.0 update 2), vSphere Client HTML5 based (released in vSphere 6.5) and VMware vSphere Web Client (Adobe Flex based) which will help us think why exaclty they are called "The respective clients" because these clients and the development team at VMware deserves all those respect which it needs by proving us all the new and improved features and functionalities.

VMware Host Client
  • VMware host client is an embedded HTML 5  based client used to connect and manage single ESXi host by providing the IP/Hostname of your ESXi host and specifying the username and password.
  • We can make use of Host Client to perform basic administration and troubleshooting tasks  and advanced administration for our ESXi hosts.
  • When we start comparing with some of the key difference in legacy C## client and host client we can easily interpret the features difference between these two as configuration options/security profile/ services options and also the advance settings options look and feel has been changed.
  • Another feature that can be seen in the hardware tab apart from the management of PCI devices is power management wherein we can make use of power management features provided by ESXi host to adjust the balance between the available power and efficiency of ESXi host, by default it uses Balanced Power management policy and try to reduce the energy consumption with minimal performance compromise, other policy to choose from includes High Performance which do not use any power management features and provides more absolute performance but a lower efficiency whereas Low Power policy provides less absolute performance but at higher efficiency and custom policy which gives us the advance configurations options to choose from.
  • Feature which i liked the most is the autostart option where in we can configure a Virtual Machine to start before other virtual machines running on that host, to configure this option we need to enable the auto start configuration on the host as shown and then by right clicking the Virtual Machine we can increase/decrease the Virtual Machine start priority.
  • Under the host management tab we have another option of security and users which has lot of new sub options to choose from including - 1 Acceptance level for VIB's where we can specify the type of accepted VIB's (Partner,VMware Certified,VMware Accepted and Community) 2 - Authentication - Active directory and Smart Card Authentication 3) Certificates 4) Users 5) Roles - has a new row which talks about a new role NO Cryptography Administrator which supports all administrator privileges except for the cryptographic operations privileges (encrypting/decrypting Virtual Machines)

vSphere Web Client
  • vSphere web client provides us a complete set of functionalities needed to manage vCenter Server appliance through web browser accessible over https://vcenterserverappliance/vSphereclient.
  • vSphere web client architecture comprises of three layers 1) User Interface Layer - UI layer consist of adobe flex which is open source application framework for building web applications that can be deployed consistently on all major browsers, desktops, and devices and contains user interface elements, data portlets and commands, one can navigate through these flex elements to interact with vSphere objects and make necessary changes to the vSphere environment. UI layer provides all the necessary components including the core and 3rd party plugins which are required to exchange information from 2) Service Layer which is a collection of java services running in a framework on the application server known as virgo server. The java service running in service layer is responsible for communicating and collecting data from vCenter Server and other remote sources which is then displayed to us in web client with the help of flex based UI layer. 3) Data Source Layer - is the final layer which has vCenter Server or other backend data sources from where the data is being fetched and displayed we can find the link for the Architectural diagram of vSphere web client made available at vSphere 6.5 Documentation
  • When it comes to the vSphere web client in vSphere 6.5 there are some changes which has been made to client integration plugin also which was one of the important plugin required in vSphere 6.0 because of the various features set it provides including datastore file upload/download ovf import/export, content library import/export and windows session authentication is now no longer required for above functionalities except for windows session authentication for which we need to install the enhanced authentication plugin which provides integrated windows session authentication and windows smart card functionality and can be downloaded by opening the URL of web client by disabling the protected mode and enabling the pop-up in our browser.
vSphere Client

  • vSphere client is also HTML5 based web application that we can use for connect to our vCenter Server systems and managing ESXi hosts and its associated Virtual Machines.
  • Likewise the vSphere Web client vSphere client architecture also comprises of 3 Layers including 1) User Interface layer which consists of an HTML platform which provides a plug-in architecture for the extensions displayed in a Web browser. The HTML application provides us with all user interface elements with which we can interact, including menus, commands. We can make use of the user interface elements to view information about an object in the vSphere environment, send a command, and make changes to our vSphere infrastructure.
  • Layer 2 Java Service Layer and Layer 3 Backend Layer is same as we discussed in the vSphere Web client however an additional spring framework that can be used to establish communication between service and user interface layer.
* When working with vSphere Client there are few workflow functionality which are available in the vSphere web client but are not yet available in vSphere client refer the link to check the details about these updated functionalityFunctionality Updates for the vSphere Client



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