RIP – vSphere C# Client

It has been on the cards for a long time and a previous statement made it sound like it was likely to happen but the vSphere C# client is nearing the end of its life.

The vSphere C# client is the tool that any VMware administrator would recognise if they have been in the business for a number of years.  This is the client that was installed onto your computer and allowed you to access and manage vCenters and hosts.  I remember the C# client from the times before the vSphere name was utilised for the Server virtualisation suite, back in the days of Virtual Infrastructure 3, service consoles and all of the items that are drifting off into history.

If you have been utilising VMware for any length of time, then you would recognise the images below, taken from various different versions of the C# client:


The vSphere C# client was originally touted as being killed off in the next version after the vSphere Web Client was introduced in 5.1 back in 2012 but unfortunately the web client wasn’t up to scratch and there were a number of additional plugins that couldn’t easily be transferred across to the web client in its early days.  Since those early days of the vSphere Web Client, a number of improvements have been made to the client so that performance has been improved and many more of the additional plugins have now been written specifically for the Web Client.  Many people dropped back to the C# client due to the issues that were experienced with the Web Client and many utilise both in tandem with one tool best to perform some actions and the other best to perform other tasks.

Unfortunately the Web Client also had another big flaw in its design… it was built on the Adobe Flex platform which meant that the operating system had to have Adobe Flash installed… this causes issues when trying to access the solution using tablet devices and other devices where Flash is no longer supported.

The solution to this is the announcement that the next major release of vSphere will utilise a HTML5 Web Client.  We are being promised that this new Web Client will provide better performance and the structure that people want, in a design more akin to the C# client.  An idea of how this will look can be seen with the introduction of the Embedded Host Client in ESXi 6 Update 2.  A VMware Fling is also available providing a beta of how the HTML5 Web Client could look, although this is not fully feature consistent with the C# client meaning that many advanced tasks are not supported.

VMware seem to be heading in the right direction with the HTML5 Web Client and this could finally see the end of the C# client.  At the moment, VMware are not specifying when the new Web Client will be fully available (as this would identify when the next major release would drop) and they are advising that administrators do not need to do anything at the moment in preparation for the new Web Client… the key thing is that it is coming and we will finally see the C# client laid to rest.


About the Author


I have been in IT for the past 15 years and using virtualisation technologies for around the past 8 years. I started, as quite a lot of people do, working with PCs after playing with such iconic systems like the ZX81, ZX Spectrum and then progressing through 386s, 486s, Pentiums etc. After being headhunted at sixth form to work for a small company based around Hertfordshire, UK. I began working with small businesses and gaining a lot of hardware experience. Three years later, after helping to increase the size of the business, I needed to gain exposure to a larger environment to progress my own career. I joined a large manufacturing company around Electronic Test and Measurement which progressed my skills onto more PC work, hardware work and then onto Server Operating Systems. I progressed again onto a consultancy company based in Reading, UK. Initially working as an engineer performing hardware / software installations for larger companies contracted out to the consultancy company, I moved up into a Consultant position continuing my travel across the UK assisting and providing solutions to companies. I finally moved on again to my current position, working back in Hertfordshire, UK. Again working for a large manufacturing company, this time with over 50,000 users worldwide. I am responsible for the datacenter hardware, the storage environment, the vmware environment and also implementing their new Citrix XenApp farm. My days are busy but also productive, its a friendly environment and in my four years of being with the company, I have seen many changes in technology and infrastructure in use within the company. About the site I started this site as I had been thinking of having more of a presence on the web for a while. On a daily basis, I perform tasks and use tools that others may not use or may not think to do and therefore I thought that I would share some of these experiences and tips with others to help with their day to day work. Currently, my main focus of work is around VMware and Veeam Backup & Replication but hopefully as my tasks progress, I’ll be able to share useful bits of information about other areas of IT as well.

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