The original title I had picked out for this post was Still Flash, But Actually Usable. I upgraded the title because the vSphere Web Client in 6.0 is more than just usable – it’s vastly better from a performance and user experience perspective. I know that we all want an HTML5-based client, but I personally would rather have a web client that works today and keep my fingers crossed for an HTML5 version in the future.
The layout has received a face lift. The tasks bar now sits at the bottom, same as the vSphere Client, providing much more real estate for operations. You’ll only see your tasks by default, but can change that option in the bottom left corner.
I’ve found that the user experience is peppy right out of the box; no need to tune the web server or fuss around with Java cache sizes in your browser.
Here’s the official numbers provided by VMware on the improvements offered in this new version of the vSphere Web Client
- Screen by screen code optimization
- Login now 13x faster
- Right click menu now 4x faster
- Most tasks end to end are 50+% faster
- Performance charts
- Charts are available and usable in less then half the time
- VMRC integration
- Advanced virtual machine operations
The Snazzy Bits
After spending a few months with the vSphere Web Client, I’ve noticed a number of handy updates.
The first is around suppressing host SSH warnings directly from interface. Handy!
Another improvement is the ability to push alarms and the work in progress panels into the side. They become expandable boxes that pop out when you hover over them. The title also keeps a count of active alarms or tasks. Great for smaller screens or RDP sessions.
I’m also a fan of being able to see much more granular detail when it comes to vCenter services, their health, and operating state. This is found in the Administration > Deployment > System Configuration section. You can also start, stop, restart, or edit the service startup type (automatic, manual, or disabled).
Here’s an example from my vSphere 6 Web Client showing sorts for all of the columns. I’ve used Virtual Machines as an example. Notice that Used Space is sorting in descending order. I’ve also opened the contextual menu so you can see the Size All Columns to Fit feature (awesome).
Snappy Flat Menus
One of the slowest parts of the vSphere Web Client has been the menus. They took forever and a day to build while you watched the little whirly ball of sadness. The new release includes very fast and flat menus, starting with a little home launcher that replaced the old “home” button of old.
Additionally, the menus that appear when you right click on objects launches immediately. I’m able to find just about anything I need within the first two levels of the menu.
There’s also more data displayed on objects, such as seeing how both the 5.x and 6.x Fault Tolerance configuration looks from a host summary page.
The end result is a vSphere Web Client that actually works and isn’t a complete nightmare to have to use. I didn’t find myself opening up the vSphere Client and vSphere Web Client like I usually do with 5.5.
I still found the beta version of the vSphere Web Client had a few quirks and required a refresh occasionally to resolve cryptic load errors. And it is still missing full VUM integration. Perhaps items we’ll see resolved in the next update?