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.


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