What software is required for the vSphere 6 Web Client?

In this round of Ask the Expert, Stephen Bigelow discusses the requirements of a vSphere 6 Web Client deployment.

Using a web as a management platform is hardly a new idea -- browser-based interfaces use well-established languages such as Java and HTTP to produce reliable and secure channels into all manner of software infrastructure. VMware also makes extensive use of browser-based management with its vSphere Web Client. But even though VMware is hard at work developing a new Web client using HTML5 and JavaScript, the current Web client is still well-suited for most vSphere management tasks. Let's take a closer look at the vSphere 6 Web Client and explain some questions that might arise.

What are the software requirements for vSphere 6 Web Client?

The vSphere 6 Web Client is VMware's browser-based application providing administrators with a full-featured, versatile tool for monitoring and managing the myriad of different objects that compose your virtual data center. Objects can include virtual machines, storage instances, network instances, clusters, host systems and so on. The vSphere 6 Web Client allows administrators to create, configure, allocate or remove vSphere objects, and then monitor the health, operational condition and performance levels of those vSphere objects.

The actual system requirements for vSphere Web Client are relatively light. Since the tool is browser-based, the requirements are primarily the same needed to operate a suitable browser. For example, vSphere 6 Web Client requires a minimum of Microsoft Internet Explorer 10.0.19, Mozilla Firefox 34 or Google Chrome 39 for Windows operating systems. Mac operating systems will need a minimum of Mozilla Firefox 34 or Google Chrome 39 -- later browser versions should be acceptable.

In addition, vSphere 6 Web Client requires Adobe Flash Player 16 or later. But there's a wrinkle: The latest Adobe Flash Player version for Linux is 11.2, so the vSphere Web Client cannot run on Linux platforms until a suitable Adobe Flash Player version for Linux becomes available.

It's also worth noting that vSphere 6 Web Client is extensible, allowing organizations to tailor the tool for specific data center environments. A wide range of plug-in modules can be installed to extend vSphere by supporting the creation of new service plug-in modules offering object types, or adding more data to existing objects. User interface (UI) plug-in modules can also be installed to enhance the UI, providing creative new views of vSphere object data, shortcuts, lists, graphs, charts and so on.

Plug-ins can be custom-developed to suit the particular needs of the business, but it may be more common to install vSphere 6 Web Client plug-ins created by third-party vendors. For example, there are third-party plug-ins for storage systems such as the Dell Storage SC Series vSphere Web Client Plugin or the SimpliVity Web Client Extension. There are also third-party server plug-ins such as the Lenovo XClarity Integrator for VMware vCenter and the Cisco UCS Manager Plugin for VMware vSphere Web Client among others. Major plug-ins can be obtained directly from system vendors or through the VMware Solution Exchange.

Next Steps

Managing the vSphere Web Client from a Mac

How has VMware streamlined the vSphere 6 Web Client?

Learning to love the vSphere Web Client

Dig Deeper on VMware basics