Bye bye, VMware vSphere C# client
VMware has announced that the vSphere C# client will no longer be available with the next release of vSphere. It should not come as a big surprise as VMware has been preparing for this for a long time. VMware has been transiting away from the C# client for the last several releases. In recent updates made to vSphere 6.0 VMware has moved functionality into the web client, such as Update Manager, that has further removed the need to run the C# client at all.
(Details on the next version of vSphere like version number and release date are still unknown.)
For customers it is important to understand that the C# client will continue to be available with all supported version of vSphere. This means all 5.x and 6.0 versions will offer this interface through the posted end of support dates.
The new client
So will the current web client be the only management tool available? Yes and No.
In the next release of VMware vSphere the only management tool will be a web based client but VMware is renewing the web client and they have dropped flash. This must be a huge relief for all vSphere-admins out there. The current flash based vSphere web client has been a pain in the *## since the release. Now VMware has acknowledged that flash is not the solution for the long-term.
The new way forward is to utilize HTML5 as shown in the ESXi embedded host client and the HTML5 web client fling which is available on the VMware Labs page. So an HTML5 client will be available in future versions of vSphere.
Performance and overall usability of the new HTML5 web client have been dramatically improved with the release of vSphere 6 update 1 (released September 2015) and even further enhanced now that update 2 has become available (March 2016).
vSphere HTML5 web client advantages
The vSphere HTML5 web client has the following advantages:
- Scalability – Web client handles more objects and more concurrent admin access;
- Bookmarking URLs – Web client allows you to quickly return to specific objects or views and share them with others (such as in a support ticket);
- Recent Objects – Web client lets you navigate quickly between things you’re working on;
- Work-In-Progress – Web client lets you save your work and come back to it later, even from another computer;
- Enhanced Linked Mode – Web client can call up all your inventory in one view;
- Remembers user customizations to UI – Web client enables column selections and widths on grids, portlets on summary pages;
- Latest feature support – Web client is the only interface to support all new features.
But is it all great? Is this the holy grail?
Not quite, there’s stil the problem of plugins. Right now, there are still vCenter Server plugins which are only compatible with the C# client. For the new HTML5 vSphere web client around 30-40% of the plug-ins are compatible with the HTML5. So the VMware partners providing vCenter Server plugins need to work fast to migrate them over to HTML5 before the release of the new version of vSphere.
If you require more information on plugin migration, please contact VMware. One great source of information is ‘The Future of vCenter‘ site which contains a lot of future looking information about vCenter. This site will be updated as more information becomes available.
VMware expects the plugin transition to take some time, and this means that we expect to ship the Flex based Web Client and the HTML5 based vSphere Client side by side for some uncertain period.