VMware management with vSphere Client for iPad

With the vSphere Client for iPad, you can break your desk chains and perform VMware management tasks from virtually anywhere.

The VMware vSphere Client for iPad can make a nice addition to your VMware toolbox, but it’s not a full-fledged replacement for the vSphere Client.

The vSphere Client for iPad provides useful performance information about a virtual infrastructure, such as detailed graphs on CPU and RAM utilization for hosts and virtual machines (VMs). You can also perform simple virtualization management tasks, such as powering VMs on and off. The vSphere Client for iPad lacks important management capabilities, however, such as the ability to live-migrate VMs or display vCenter Server plug-ins.

Getting started with the vSphere Client for iPad
Before using the vSphere Client for iPad, you need to install the vCenter Mobile Access (vCMA) appliance and link hosts to the vCMA server. Then, from the iPad settings, enter the vCMA’s IP address to connect the vSphere Client for iPad to the vCMA Web server.

Next, launch the vSphere Client for iPad. Enter the IP address of the vCMA server as well as your username and password to log in. If you see a certificate error, click Allow to ignore the message and continue. (The error message states that the Secure Sockets Layer certificate is self signed and not from a trusted authority, which would require a user to pay a huge sum to a network authentication company, such as VeriSign.)

Figure 1
Establishing a connection to the host for VMware management. (Click image for an enlarged view.)

Managing VMs with the vSphere Client for iPad
At this point, you will see the hosts that are linked to the vCMA sever. You will also see the number of hosts and VMs in the top-right corner. Next, select a name from the list to connect to a specific host.

Figure 2/b>
List of hosts connected to the vCMA. (Click image for an enlarged view.)

You’ll see an overview of the host, including the percentage of CPU and memory used and a list of all running VMs, which you can power on and off.

Figure 3
It is easy to turn on a VM from the vSphere Client for iPad. (Click image for an enlarged view.)

In the lower part of the screen, you'll see an icon labeled Performance, which allows you to perform additional VMware management tasks. Once selected, a line graph will appear, showing the CPU, memory, disk and network untlization rates. You'll also find two tools that test the host’s network performance: ping, to test the host’s connectivity, and Trace Route, to test routing to the host.

Figure 4
The Performance view shows the current performance statistics for the selected host. (Click image for an enlarged view.)

After returing to the host overview screen, select a VM. You’ll see an overview of its current CPU and RAM utilization, as well as the number of existing snapshots, if applicable.

Note that there isn’t a console window to connect directly to the VM. If you want to remotely connect to a VM, you'll need another iPad app, such as the TeamViewer, which allows you to control a VM’s graphical console.

This was first published in September 2011

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