If you are using the vSphere Web Client, you may want to tweak the experience a bit to simplify the browsing experience as well as manage what's installed in it. For starters, the vSphere Web Client doesn't have an API per se; but it does allow plug-ins to be installed into the application. This way VMware components, as well as third-party components, can be running in the vSphere Web Client. This is where many VMware admins spend a lot of their time, so it's worth checking out the plug-in management.
If you've not been keeping up with VMware much recently, the vSphere Web Client is a web-based administration interface that is newer than the older vSphere Client. The vSphere Client is a Windows application and is sometimes referred to as the "thick client".
Plug-ins have been in the vSphere Client for a long time, and they too have enable/disable properties. It's important to know that the plug-ins interact with the vCenter Server itself. You can browse the Managed Object Reference in the Managed Object Browser (MOB) of the vCenter Server by browsing to: https://servername/mob (where server name is the vCenter Server). Figure A shows the MOB of a vCenter Server:
It's usually easier to enable or disable them directly in the vSphere Web Client itself. You can administer plug-ins in the vSphere Web Client at Administration | Solutions | Plug-In Management. There you can select a plug-in and disable it; this may be a helpful step if think you may use it later but don't want it entirely removed.
One example of a plug-in in the default installation of the vCenter Server Appliance version 5.1 and higher is the vCenter Orchestrator plug-in. vCenter Orchestrator builds workflows quickly for automated provisioning, but not everyone may be using it yet. If you want to disable this plug-in you can do that in the Plug-In Management pane as shown in Figure B:
Figure B From here you can leave them
in the vCenter Server; but not litter your view in the vSphere Web Client with
menu trees that don't apply to your installation and may cause errors.
The vSphere Web Client is a big change from the previous one and will take some getting used to. Strategically, it's where we'll expect to see features delivered into for vSphere going forward.
Have you started using any tricks with the vSphere Web Client? Share yours below.
Rick Vanover is a software strategy specialist for Veeam Software, based in Columbus, Ohio. Rick has years of IT experience and focuses on virtualization, Windows-based server administration, and system hardware.