Monday, July 2, 2012

Dedicated vSphere Web Client


A couple of weeks ago I wrote about the need for vSphere Web Client (Server) to track down your license utilization.

But, that’s not all about what vSphere Web Client (Server) can provide.
The main utilization would be for administrators to manage their environments, without the need of vSphere Client, through a Web Portal, and YES Web base portal has improved A LOT !!! It’s also perfect for administrator who does not have a Windows desktop.

Also, since the connection per client, made through the Web Client (Server), is kind of light weight, you might get 1.5 or 2 times more users than using the regular vSphere Client, based on C#.
Remember that, vCenter has a limitation of 100 concurrent users, so be carefully when your utilization is around this limit.

You probably don’t like the idea of having one (or several) servers consuming Windows License just to run the Web Client server, right ? Neither do I.

Searching around, I found a solution from the amazing blog Long White Virtual Clouds owned by Michael Webster, I would advice you all to follow his posts, it totally worth.

The idea is to split the vSphere Web Client services from vCenter. The beauty of this solution is that you can use vCenter Server appliance just to provide Web service, without having to license Windows. vCenter Server applicance is based on a Linux distribution, therefore free.
The other benefits of this approach are because since you split the services the load on the web service will not affect the vCenter performance, you can troubleshoot, update, restart the vSphere Web Client services without affecting the vCenter service.

So, without further ado let’s see how to implement that.

Deploy and configured the network piece of VCSA (vCenter Server Appliance). I would not cover that up, since it’s relative simple.

Once you log in on VCSA (https://”VCSA_IP”:5480) , first thing you need to do is accept the EULA.

 
Then you need to unregister the Web service from it’s internal vCenter.

All the scripts can be found at: /usr/lib/vmware-vsphere-client/scripts

To unregister run:
./admin-cmd unregister https://”VCSA_IP”:9443/vsphere-client localhost root “root_passwd”

After the internal vCenter has been unregister from the Web service, you will need to register your vCenter to the Web service.

To register run:
./admin-cmd register https://”VCSA_IP”:9443/vsphere-client “vCenter_FQDN” “vCenter_Admin_ID” “vCenter_Admin_passwd”

You should be able to manage your vCenter from Web Portal (https://”VCSA_IP”:9443/vsphere-client ) and also, your license utilization will be shown on the reporting tab on vSphere Client.

That’s all you need to make this solution works, but if you have a few more minutes I recommend you read it through the end.

VCSA comes with Syslog and Core dump serves enabled by default. If you do not intent to run these services, there’s no reason to keep them running and consuming resources without a need to.

If you go the Services tab and click on “Stop ESXi Services”, those services will be stopped, but after each reboot of the appliance, those services will come up running again.


To disable the services you will need to log in on the VCSA console and run the following commands.

To disable Syslog Server, run:
chkconfig syslog-collector off

To disable Core dumpe Server, run:
chkconfig vmware-netdumper off

Next time you reboot the appliance those services would not be started up.


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I’m and IT specialist with over 15 years of experience, working from IT infraestructure to management products, troubleshooting and project management skills from medium to large environments. Nowadays I'm working for VMware as a Senior Consultant, helping customers to embrace the Cloud Era and make them succefully on this journay. Despite the fact I'm a VMware employee these postings reflect my own opnion and do not represents VMware's position, strategies or opinios.

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