removing ESXi from the all-in-one

Patrick

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Dec 21, 2010
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The only thought I have with non-mobile geek bench is that you do want to use the same OS. Have seen a few large deltas between OSes.
 

apnar

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Mar 5, 2011
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I did like libvirtd with KVM, and virt-manager was nice. plus the ability to set the console for a VM to a random port you can connect to via VNC from any host is very, very nice. @OP I also have a macbook, and find it annoying to boot parallels just to launch vsphere when I want a console.
Sorry to reply back in the thread a bit. I did want to point out though that ESXi supports connecting to consoles via VNC as opposed to having to use vSphere. It's actually been there from the days when it was called GSX server. Anyway, you need to setup a config per VM and then also open up the firewall for it, but not too hard. Here's a semi-recent write up on it:

http://www.virtuallyghetto.com/2012/01/using-vnc-client-to-connect-to-vms-in.html
 

CreoleLakerFan

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Oct 29, 2013
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I would run ESXi but hate that I need a windows install somewhere to run vsphere.
You don't need Windows anymore. VMware has the SUSE-based vCenter Server Appliance. It's extremely easy to deploy vs. a Windows install of vCenter, and the overhead is (naturally) reduced vs Windows running vCenter. The only difference that comes to mind is that you cannot run vCenter in Linked-mode on the appliance (there may be others).
 
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apnar

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Mar 5, 2011
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There is now an option that doesn't even involve running vCenter. There is a VMWare labs Flings project here that lets you drop a web interface right on the esxi box:

ESXi Embedded Host Client – VMware Labs

I haven't had time to try it out yet but looks like it may be a nice fit for small one or two ESXi labs.
So I decided to give the embedded host client a try. Install is super simple, just installing a single vib. After that you can login to the web interface directly on the ESXi box. From there it is just HTML and JavaScript, no plugins at all. You get all the basic management stuff plus console access (which is great without a plugin). There were a few rough edges in the interface but overall very usable.

Requires ESXi 6 or the yet to be released 5.5update3.
 

Rhinox

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May 27, 2013
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There is now an option that doesn't even involve running vCenter. There is a VMWare labs Flings project here that lets you drop a web interface right on the esxi box:

ESXi Embedded Host Client – VMware Labs

I haven't had time to try it out yet but looks like it may be a nice fit for small one or two ESXi labs.
Unfortunatelly, it does not work with free ESXi. Better said, it runs in read-only mode. Any changes you make are silently ignored. This might change in the future...
 

CreoleLakerFan

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Oct 29, 2013
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yeah that's a deal breaker for me. I DO NOT WANT TO HAVE TO RUN A WINDOWS CLIENT/VM JUST TO MANAGE MY VM's [all caps in case VMWare sees it].
VMware has addressed this with the VMware web client - all of the *native functionality included in the C# Windows-based client is available in the VMware web client. It runs as a component of vCenter (SUSE-based virtual appliance or Windows install), so you'll have to pony up for a paid license. At $200 annually the VMUG Eval Experience is a really good value for a lab/home scenario where you want to kick the tires on all of the VMware features. There is also the VMware Essentials version of vCenter which is $599 for a perpetual license of a pared-down version of vCenter which can manage three ESXi hosts. Or if you're a really cheap bastard you can just use a demo license and re-install everything every 60 days.

If you just want to have your cake and eat it too, well, I don't think VMware has a solution for that.
 

apnar

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If you just want to have your cake and eat it too, well, I don't think VMware has a solution for that.
Learn the CLI ;) You can do just about everything command line for free.

And while I haven't verified if changes stick yet on my setup (I'll test it tonight) the new [free] interface worked well for accessing virtual consoles (one thing CLI can't do) and issuing vm commands (start/stop/etc.).
 

gigatexal

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Nov 25, 2012
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VMware has addressed this with the VMware web client - all of the *native functionality included in the C# Windows-based client is available in the VMware web client. It runs as a component of vCenter (SUSE-based virtual appliance or Windows install), so you'll have to pony up for a paid license. At $200 annually the VMUG Eval Experience is a really good value for a lab/home scenario where you want to kick the tires on all of the VMware features. There is also the VMware Essentials version of vCenter which is $599 for a perpetual license of a pared-down version of vCenter which can manage three ESXi hosts. Or if you're a really cheap bastard you can just use a demo license and re-install everything every 60 days.

If you just want to have your cake and eat it too, well, I don't think VMware has a solution for that.
yeah a license is probably where i'll need to go
 

Rhinox

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May 27, 2013
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VMware has addressed this with the VMware web client...
Did VMware also addressed those zillions of problems user have with their web-client? I doubt. I can't believe someone is advocating VMware web-client. I worked with it (and unfortunatelly, sometimes still have to), and for me it is by far the worst management software I have ever have to deal with. It is a true synonym for software-hell! Just check single forum-thread what hundreds of VMware-users think about that flash-based piece of crap:

vSphere Web Client SUCKs so bad that my experie... | VMware Communities
 

CreoleLakerFan

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Oct 29, 2013
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Did VMware also addressed those zillions of problems user have with their web-client? I doubt. I can't believe someone is advocating VMware web-client. I worked with it (and unfortunatelly, sometimes still have to), and for me it is by far the worst management software I have ever have to deal with. It is a true synonym for software-hell! Just check single forum-thread what hundreds of VMware-users think about that flash-based piece of crap:

vSphere Web Client SUCKs so bad that my experie... | VMware Communities
I wouldn't say I am advocating it, merely pointing out that it exists for those who are adamantly opposed to running vcenter on Windows.
 

whitey

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Jun 30, 2014
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You don't need Windows anymore. VMware has the SUSE-based vCenter Server Appliance. It's extremely easy to deploy vs. a Windows install of vCenter, and the overhead is (naturally) reduced vs Windows running vCenter. The only difference that comes to mind is that you cannot run vCenter in Linked-mode on the appliance (there may be others).
OK I can't bite my tongue anymore, you absolutely CAN manage a vSphere infra (both ESXi hypervisor and MANY other Software Defined Data Center products of theirs) with cli/API's/web browsers minus a vSphere C# client.

With VCSA (vCenter on Suse Linux as @CreoleLakerFan mentioned) you get a vSphere Web Client (works great w/ Chrome/FF from my Linux box, full functionality) that performs great in the vSphere 6.x release. It supports every bit of functionality (minus VUM but that's otw), and can even do linked mode now (Linux based VCSA to VCSA), I do it between my home stack and my buddies co-lo stack (VDI/Cloud gig). It's ready for prime time and you'd be amazed at what interfaces such as vSphere Powercli, Ruby vSphere Console, REST API's in vSphere can do as far as mgmt, extensibility, automation, etc. One caveat...get VMUG advantage or get good at scripting a 60-day env reset/rebuild if you want to play for free but get 'most' of the features.

Hands down win but I drank the koolaid LONG ago but did come from deep Unix/Linux/Open Source roots and had plenty of exposure to damn near all type0/1/2 hypervisors/virt technology.

Pssst check this as well. You're welcome :-D (give it time and ALL functionality of C# client will be ported to this HTML5 browser (vSphere web client knock-off for ESXi)

ESXi Embedded Host Client – VMware Labs
New HTML5 Embedded Host Client for ESXi | virtuallyGhetto

EDIT: DOH, @Steini84 beat me to the knowledge share :-D
 

whitey

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Jun 30, 2014
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Did VMware also addressed those zillions of problems user have with their web-client? I doubt. I can't believe someone is advocating VMware web-client. I worked with it (and unfortunatelly, sometimes still have to), and for me it is by far the worst management software I have ever have to deal with. It is a true synonym for software-hell! Just check single forum-thread what hundreds of VMware-users think about that flash-based piece of crap:

vSphere Web Client SUCKs so bad that my experie... | VMware Communities
And YES this has been addressed although it is still flash based (BOO, I KNOW), they are working towards full html5 port but the current vSphere Web Client is 7-10x's faster/snappier than the 5.1/5.5 releases of that POS. Trust me, I was in your boat and beating them up FOREVER, this vSphere 6.x Web Client is the first 'usable/solid' release and it is only gonna get better when the html5 version lands.