A few minutes ago VMware released their long awaited vSphere client for the iPad and it is available at the AppStore for FREE.

VMware’s goal is to provide a tool which can be accessed anywhere to perform essential tasks and view performance metrics in a simplified interface. It is not intended to be the functional equivalent of the Windows vSphere client but it should enable you to perform 80% of the most common Admin tasks.

The functionality for now includes:

  • Search for vSphere hosts and virtual machines;
  • Monitor the performance of vSphere hosts and virtual machines;
  • Manage virtual machines with the ability to start, stop and suspend;
  • View and restore virtual machine snapshots;
  • Reboot vSphere hosts or put them in maintenance mode;
  • Diagnose vSphere hosts and virtual machines using build in ping and trace-route tools.

As you can see there is no vMotion, Storage vMotion or virtual machine console access yet but VMware intends to release updates frequently. We will see many small updates which introduce new features instead of one major release wit a lot of new functionality like with the vSphere products.

The vSphere client resides on the use of the vCenter Mobile Access (vCMA) appliance which handles the access to the vCenter server. The reason for this is that VMware wants to eliminate all client side logic because mobile devices tend to change a lot. This also enables VMware to port the iPad application to Android without much trouble.

VMware also released a new version of the vCMA which now has SSL enabled by default. VMware also wrote a new Deployment Guide, so check it out.

For every vCenter server you need a vCMA but the number of iPads which can connect through the vCMA is unlimited.

The expectation is that the vCMA will eventually disappear and the logic the iPad/Android/etc needs to connect to the vCenter server will be build into future versions of vCenter.