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VMware flings out preview of new web management interface

All HTML and Javascript, which will come in handy once Chrome kills off NPAPI

ESXi Embedded Host Client
A screenshot of the ESXi Embedded Host Client Fling

VMware admins are generally pretty happy with their lot, although the dire web interface for vSphere 5.x got plenty of backs up. Virtzilla therefore gave vSphere 6.0 a shiny new web interface, but did so by relying on the NPAPI browser plugin format that's about to go to the big Trash folder in the sky thanks to Chrome deciding not to support it any more.

Indeed, recent versions of Chrome have broken the plugin and therefore the web interface. A little command line action gets around that, but won't do so forever once Chrome banishes NPAPI entirely.

Little wonder, then, that VMware has just popped out a new browser-based management tool for admins to play with.

The new code is a “Fling”, VMware's name for code cut by its engineers but which isn't supported or recommended for use on production systems. Flings do, however, reflect VMware's development directions.

With the web client in NPAPI-related strife, it's therefore interesting to see that one new Fling is the ESXi Embedded Host Client, offering an ESXi management interface that runs in the host and was “written purely in HTML and JavaScript”. The description for the fling says “Currently, the client is in its development phase, but we are releasing this Fling to elicit early feedback from our users to help guide the development and user experience that we are creating. As such, the client is not fully featured and only implements a hand full of the most important features.”

There's no vCenter support but as the quote above makes plain, VMware has some way to go on this project. The Reg's virtualisation desk therefore suspects this is the beginnings of a new web client that moves on from NPAPI.

Another new Fling is the VNC Server and VNC Client that, as the name suggests, makes it possible to remote into vSphere and VMware Workstation boxen using the VNC protocol.

Vmworld's under two weeks away, but it takes rather longer than that for Flings to turn into products. At a guess, this code may be destined for a vSphere 6.1 release that should land towards the end of the year or early 2016 if VMware keeps up its usual release cadence. ®

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