Wednesday, January 13, 2016

vSphere 6 - "WebClient" and legacy client

Now that we have installed vCenter Server, we can use it to manage our vSphere environment. In particular, we can use it to manage ESXi hosts, something that I will examine in a later blog post.

For now, I want to demonstrate how we can access vCenter.


The primary management interface for vCenter 6 is the "VMware vSphere WebClient" that we can access by clicking on the Start Menu icon in the location shown below:

This takes us to the URL that we can see in the shortcut properties:

As with the legacy interface, we will encounter warnings about the default self-signed certificate not being trusted:

Since this is our server, it is safe to continue...

But there are still obstacles to overcome:

This message is preceded by another that disappears almost instantly but informs us that the VMware web client cannot function without Flash (11.5 or above).

Note: this requirement has inspired many negative comments from numerous vSphere administrators:

So I install Flash (for IE 11 - the browser used above) but... it still does not work (same error message).

So... I install Google Chrome...

OK, now I make some progress:

Strangely, I made this attempt (using the URL in the shortcut properties above), before installing Flash for Chrome (and I even uninstalled the Flash version for Windows "just to be sure"). In fact, I was successful because Chrome has included Flash as part of the browser rather than a separate component we need to add in "Programs". 

Regardless, I can logon using the username in the format below (followed by the password entered for the administrator during the installation of vCenter):




That does allow me to login. You'll see the web interface in a later blog post when I demonstrate how to configure Single Sign-On.

Legacy client

We can also connect to vCenter using what I will call the "legacy" client. There is a file included in the vCenter 6 .iso that we can extract (with the rest) and execute:

The installation process is very simple (Next, Next, Next, etc.) so I will not present the step-by-step instructions here. I will note that, when logging in, you may have certificate errors that can be eliminated by indicating you are willing to trust the built-in certificate, for example:

Otherwise, when we open the client to logon, we see a warning that the legacy client only allows us to manage features that existed with vSphere 5. If we want to manage newer features, we have to use the web client.

For your information, this is what the legacy client looks like once we are connected:

In the following blog posts, I will use the "WebClient" because we have no other choice if we want to manage features introduced since vSphere 5.0 (unless we are proficient at the command line).

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