Friday, March 18, 2016

VMware Host Client uility: ESXi Embedded Host Client

The VMware Host Client is an HTML5-based client that is used to connect to and manage single ESXi host directly from web browser. It can be used to perform administrative tasks to manage host resources such as virtual machines, networking, and storage. The VMware Host Client can also be helpful for troubleshooting individual virtual machines or hosts if vCenter Server and the vSphere Client are unavailable.

The ESXi Host Client is part of ESXi 6.0 Update 2 now: Earlier it was available as a ESXi Embedded Host Client Fling only, so we have to install it before connecting to host via browser (supported for ESXi5.x and later).
The utility is bundled as a vib and can be installed on ESXi host via SSH without the need to reboot the host.
To use it on earlier versions of ESXi (prior to ESXi 6.0 Update 2), download and upload the Host Client VIB to any accessible datastore and then connect to host using putty and run following command,
#esxcli software vib install -d /vmfs/volumes/datastore1/esxui-signed-3623722.vib  

In case you downloaded the offline bundle, then

#esxcli software vib install -d /vmfs/volumes/datastore1/
Once the VIB is installed, you simply just point your web browser to the following URL to access the host,

https://ESXi_HostName_or_IP/ui/ For ESXi 5.5U2 and prior, and ESXi 6.0 hosts upgraded from any 5.5U2 or prior version, you will get a 503 error returned after visiting https://ESXi_HostName_or_IP/ui/. its a known issue and to resolve it, please remove the line starting with /ui from /etc/vmware/rhttpproxy/endpoints.conf and restart rhttpproxy with /etc/init.d/rhttpproxy restart
For ESXi 5.5U2 and prior hosts, you must ensure to append a trailing / (forward slash) to the URL after /ui. The URL must be https://ESXi_HostName_or_IP/ui/
In case if you want to remove the ESXi embedded host client from your ESXi host, then

#esxcli software vib remove -n esx-ui

In vSphere 6.0 Update 2, VMware continues to support the vSphere Client, but you now have the option of using the VMware Host Client instead of the vSphere Client to perform similar host-based operations.

VMware Host Client Features

The VMware Host Client 1.0.0 functions include, but are not limited to the following operations:
  • Support for the latest hardware version.
  • Basic virtualization operations, such as deploying, configuring, and editing virtual machines of various complexity, including console access to the virtual machines.
  • Creating and managing network and datastore resources.
  • Displaying current host and resource settings, including graphs of performance and utilization, and logs of host components to help troubleshooting.
  • Advanced tuning of host level options to improve performance.
Full Release Notes is available here: VMware Host Client Release Notes

That's it... :)

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