Walk through of new vSphere 5 web client interface

Posted by on July 16, 2011 in vCenter Server, VMware, vSphere | 7 comments

In this post I will cover the new Web Interface that is available in vCenter 5 that was announced this past Tuesday. This is something that should be welcomed by non Windows users. With growing number of admins using Apple computers these days they have been long waiting for a way to manage their vSphere environment without having a Windows VM running also. The vCenter Web Interface is a Flex based console that is not fully featured yet but does offer many of the things you would need on a daily basis.

You definitely will not be using it to setup hosts and networks and that type of setup & configuration work. But you can create VMs and other daily functions as well as look at performance charts.

To get started point your browser to your vCenter server using a link similar to below. If you pint straight to the vCenter without the port and trailing string you will get a page similar to what your used to seeing in the past. It will allow you to download the regular vSphere Client and will also have a link to the web client.

Below you can see the login screen for the Web Client, nothing earth shattering from this view. Only thing to point out is at the bottom of the screen there is a download link for the Client Integration Plug-in. This is necessary to view the console of a VM through the web client. So download and install to get all of the functions opened up to you.

Manage a Virtual Machine with Web Client

The image below shows the summary view of a virtual machine. Its got pretty much all of the same details were used to seeing in the thick client. You get power status and details about VM hardware and storage. From this view you can control the power of the VM and edit its settings like in the past. At the end of this section I have included images of all the options located in the menu for a VM.


 From the next image we can see that the Monitor section includes sections for Tasks, Events, Performance and Alarms. These are all things you should be used to seeing also and are easily accessible in the Web Client also. I was pretty impressed with the performance chart options that are available with this being the first attempt by VMware. They have had practice by  using the Flex client model for View manager and vCloud director now.

The last section of the VM menu is resource management. You can have a look at the familiar looking CPU and Memory bar charts that we use in the regular client.

The group of images below show the menu options that are available to you when managing a virtual machine. You have the normal power options. Under configuration you can edit settings and upgrade Tools and virtual hardware. The Inventory menu allows you to Migrate or Clone. And the Snapshot menu give you the normal options you would expect.


Migrate a Virtual Machine with Web Client

This is a really nice feature to have available in the web client. This is something that in the past you would have had to fire up the full vSphere client to do. All the normal options seem to be available for this process.


 Edit VM properties in Web Client

This section is pretty straight forward and you can see form the two images below that all of the normal options are available to you in the Web Client. You can edit and add virtual hardware to you VMs.

This second image shows the normal VM Options that you can edit also.

Creating a Virtual Machine with Web Client

I’m not sure how much I will use this to start, but its pretty awesome that this feature is there at the beginning. You can create a VM from the Web Client, using all the same choices that you would normally.

Simple screen that allows you to name your virtual machine and select the folder location in the datacenter.

The next image shows you the ability to select the resources that it will run on. For example you can choose a host or cluster to place the VM on to start.

The next screen shows you available storage options. The Web Client provides you with plenty of detail to make educated decisions.

This section allows you to choose from available Virtual Machine hardware versions. It also explains the options for both so people can make educated decisions.

Next up in the process is to choose the guest operating system.

The last screen before the review allows you to adjust any of the virtual hardware that you want in your VM. There are plenty of options here and at first look I don’t see anything missing from the regular client.

ESXi 5 Host management from Web Client

From the image below you can see the summary screen that shows information about a ESXi host. All the normal details appear to be here and are presented in a easy to consume manor. From the right side of the screen you can see recent tasks and running tasks to keep an eye on what is happening in your environment.

The image below shows the monitoring screen so that you can view Tasks, Events, Alarms and Performance data on the vSphere host. This is also really nice to have in the Web Client so that you can see what is going on.


Cluster views form vSphere Web Client

The next image is the Cluster Summary view from the Web Client. These are not much different form the host views, they just present you with higher level details.

This image shows you cluster services to be able to view DRS information within the cluster. You can see History, Faults and Recommendations form this area.

 The last screen that I have shown here gives you Resource management details for the cluster. You can view whats happening cluster wide on CPU, Memory, Storage and utilization details.


About Brian Suhr

Brian is a VCDX5-DCV and a Sr. Tech Marketing Engineer at Nutanix and owner of this website. He is active in the VMware community and helps lead the Chicago VMUG group. Specializing in VDI and Cloud project designs. Awarded VMware vExpert status 6 years for 2016 - 2011. VCP3, VCP5, VCP5-Iaas, VCP-Cloud, VCAP-DTD, VCAP5-DCD, VCAP5-DCA, VCA-DT, VCP5-DT, Cisco UCS Design


  1. This is fabulous! At last no longer a need for Windows to manage an ESX Server!

  2. Me too!! Thanks a lot for the walk through!

  3. Hi, great article thanks !
    However, my client is an Ubuntu 64bits and only the x86 bundle is downloaded. Do you have any idea where I can get the 64bits version please ?

    • On Ubuntu, you’ll need to have 32bit Firefox with Flash plugin on it (Adobe doesn’t provide a 64bit Flash on Linux) 

  4. Does that available in free version (vsphere 5 hypervisor?)

  5. Good thing but….. seem client compatible with firefox 3.6……  now we have 7.01 ad seem not work…..

    anyone has found solution ? for example i use ubuntu 32 bit

    • Does anyone know how to deploy an OVF throught the web client? Thanks in advance!


  1. VMware vSphere Web Client Console on Ubuntu Linux 11.04 « The Sysadmins - [...] Walk through of new vSphere 5 web client interface - virtualizetips.com [...]

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