iPad vCenter Client

Had to throw out a quick comment on the new iPad vCenter Client from VMware.

For over a year now, VMware has offered the vCenter Mobile Access (vCMA) appliance. I have used it internally, but it has never caught on as well as I had thought. One drawback was the lack of SSL support, and that was fixed last week. Here are some quick screenshots of vCMA in action (these were on an iPad, it is really made to be viewed on a smaller PDA or phone screen, so some screens have excess whitespace):

vCMA was a great tool, but it just got better. VMware has developed a new iPad vCenter Client that leverages the vCMA to provide an even better user interface. Like the vCMA, the iPad vCenter Client can only do about 50% of the standard functions available in the Windows vCenter Client, but they are now committed to growing this application and adding more functionality. From some of the pre-launch discussions I was able to be in, VMware is very excited about this tool and anxious to begin expanding it’s functionality. The iPad client connects through the vCMA, and I am not sure I will be exposing it to the internet any time soon. I only operate a lab, and the vCMA now has SSL support, but I have VPN access and will likely use that to allow vCMA to stay behind the firewall…for now. Here are some shots of the iPad client, and you can see how much it improves on the previous vCMA interface:

As you can see in the images above (click on any to enlarge them), you can view the stats for ESXi hosts and for the VMs from the main screen. There is a small stats icon in the upper right corner of each VM’s image that will change its image form a banner representing the OS to a stats chart. Once you drill down to a VM, you can perform start/stop/suspend/restart functions, as well as restore snapshots. You can also view recent events, monitor stats and perform tests (ping and traceroute). Not bad for a convenient app you take with you on an iPad.

Steve Herrod, CTO at VMware, officially announced the iPad vCenter Client this morning, along with a link to this article on VMware’s CTO blog site.

Eric Siebert (virtualization guru and fellow vExpert) also wrote a great post on this at vSphere-Land. Be sure to follow the “full article” and “part 2″ links at the bottom of the article to get more information and installation instructions.

As great as this client is, do not feel left out if you do not have an iPad (or if you use one of those inferior tablets…Aaron ;-), you can still use the vCMA from almost any mobile browser on a cell phone or tablet. Though the interface is not as refined, it will provide the same basic functionality.

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