Virtualized applications provide another level of abstraction for applications from an operating system. VMware ThinApp is one example of application virtualization, and VMware Labs has released a virtualized instance of the vSphere Client. The vSphere Client is the de facto administration tool for VMware vSphere and ESXi environments. The ThinApped vSphere Client is a virtualized instance of this tool, and runs seamlessly as a standalone executable. Figure A shows the ThinApped vSphere Client launching. Figure A
This is a first-generation release of the tool. As of this writing, the ThinApped vSphere Client is for the base 4.0 release, and the VMware Labs team will be releasing an updated version of the ThinApped vSphere Client for additional versions of vSphere.The ThinApped vSphere Client requires no installation required — you simply run the executable, which can be kept on a USB key for easy access when administering VMware environments on multiple computers. Another nice feature of ThinApped vSphere Client is that it doesn't install on the computer, so you don't have to worry about installing pre-requisites for the vSphere Client, as it is all contained in the ThinApp package. This is especially critical as modern versions of ESXi now point the download of the vSphere Client on the homepage of the hypervisor to VMware.com rather than a resource directly on the server (Figure B). Figure B
Click the image to enlarge.
If you have the ThinApped vSphere Client available, it may just save the day if Internet access is not available, such as in a data center or private lab setup. Thus, having the ThinApped vSphere Client can save an issue related to accessing the download site. There have been a number of instances when I had to tether my laptop to my phone in a lab situation to download the vSphere Client directly because Internet access was not available.
ThinApped vSphere Client is just one of the many cool things that VMware Labs produces. Be sure to check the VMware Labs site for other great resources.
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.