The bane of many administrators tasked with managing a VMware environment is also the portal they use to access the vCenter Server to handle installations and work with inventory objects. The vSphere Web Client is VMware's preferred method to work with objects in the virtualized data center, superseding the Windows-based desktop client.
One of the major complaints about the Web client has centered on its slow speed in older versions of vSphere. Many administrators have said the perfect time to go for a cup of coffee is when they are waiting for the Web client to log in. Then, when right-clicking on an object, it may take several seconds for the menu to finally appear. And another issue for administrators is that the Web client is based on Flash, which opens up the data center to security risks.
VMware, which recommends the Chrome browser when running the vSphere Web Client, appears to have taken much of this criticism to heart and has revamped the underlying functionality in vCenter Server to address the slowness issue. In vSphere 6, VMware engineers overhauled the security features and moved the single sign-on and other security functions into what's called the Platform Services Controller (PSC) -- removing it from the management portion of vCenter.
With this change, the company says the vSphere 6 Web Client is 13 times faster to log into and access to right-click menus is four times faster. The newest Web client is still based on Flash, but there have been rumblings that a future version will be based on HTML5.
Daniel Mitchell, author of VMware vSphere for Dummies and business development manager in EMC's cloud and EUC unit, spoke about some of these changes in vSphere 6 at the Virtualization Technology Users Group's Spring Ahead conference in Portsmouth, N.H., in April.
In addition to this "decoupling of the SSO" to give the Web client a boost, "[VMware] also did nearly a rewrite of all the UIs," said Mitchell. "There were instances where [the Web client] would be making 40 calls back and forth just for one action, to build a menu and things like that. A lot of that stuff got [revised.]"
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