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VMworld 2015: Day 2 –TAM Customer Central Sessions

Everything You Wanted to Know About VMware + Openstack

A TAM Deep Dive session titled “Everything You Wanted to Know About VMware + Openstack” was delivered today to a TAM audience of about 30 attendees. Arvind Soni, VMware Product Line Manager, presented this session to show how aligning the desire for an open vendor-neutral ecosystem combined with VMware’s leading datacenter technology can help IT differentiate and enable deployment. The key message was that VMware is delivering Openstack awareness to its datacenter products to support Openstack innovation while providing a foundation of tools that build on existing operational skills, knowledge and experience.

Arvind posed this common question to the attendees: “What is the best technology to pair with Openstack?” His answer was simply, whatever technology you know best and know how to operate. The biggest benefit of the VMware Integrated Openstack (VIO) is that it provides that Openstack experience on the VMware systems management tools.

Arvind noted that VIO is VMware’s implementation of Openstack which includes the VMware drivers, optimized reference architecture and integrated tools, to drive responsive support for customers using Openstack. By providing a VMware implementation, we can make support issues impacting our customers a priority – something that may not be the priority from the Openstack community. In his response to a question regarding the lag-time between Openstack updates and VIO implementation, Arvind suggested a goal of 5-6 months, depending on the size and scope of changes.

Additionally, Arvind outlined some of the key benefits of VIO 2.0, which simplifies Openstack deployment, integrates SDDC differentiation and features, as well as provides a production-ready, secure and supportable environment.

Finally, Arvind showed a few demos to illustrate the VIO implementation process and the upgrade enhancements being delivered in VIO 2.0.   VIO 2.0 is expected to be generally available by the end of Q3.

HTML5-based ESXi Host Client (TAM6762)

Today, Will Pien, VMware Sr. Product Manager for ESXi, provided our audience an overview of why the HTML5-based ESXi Host Client was being developed. The audience immediately became engaged, and we discussed some of the missing features in the existing fling along with the roadmap into 2016. We also discussed the priorities and development strategies the team is working with in order to better understand some of the tradeoffs that are being dealt with.

While most of the audience hadn’t yet used the ESXi Host Client Fling, Will went into a live demo to show a few of the functionality features such as licensing, host services, and VM functions. The general audience feedback was that the UI was familiar to those who had been using the vSphere Web Client and also intuitive. One of the “crowd favorite” features that is already available, is that any object within the Host Client such as VMs, Datastores, or Performance Charts are able to be bookmarked in the browser. This feature enables a user to go directly to that object without having to navigate through the rest of the Host Client that enhances the operations efficiency of an admin. Customers in attendance were looking forward to the additional functionality that would be forthcoming in updates to the fling.

Will also discussed when the fling would graduate to be a part of the product and everyone was happy on that timeline including the pace of development.

You can find more information on the HTML5-based ESXi Host Client here.

vSphere 6 Web Client and the Future

Dennis Lu, VMware Sr. Product Manager, and Yavor Boychev, VMware Manager R&D joined a packed room in TAM Customer Central this morning to talk about the current state of the vSphere Web Client and some things we will likely see in the future.

With the release of vSphere 6 and the vSphere 6 Web Client, customer feedback has been very favorable.  Of the improvements made in vSphere 6, a few get mentioned more than others.  First, the new Web Client significantly reduced the complexity of the action menus.  We have flattened the menus and grouped similar actions together. This makes the action menus more intuitive and more what customers are used to seeing in the legacy vCenter Client.

Also popular, the UI was tweaked to allow customer to change the layout of the Web Client.  Now, users are able to click on a widget or on a pane and drag it around, allowing you to customize the UI to your preference.  These UI customizations are persistent for the specific client where you make the changes, across sessions.  These are unique for each system, so you can set up your desktop UI differently from your laptop UI for example.

Lastly, in addition to the UI improvements – performance and responsiveness of the vSphere 6 Web Client has greatly improved over past iterations.  In the examples shown on-screen during the session, summary view and action menu response times have improved many times over.

Looking to the future of the vSphere Web Client, there was some really exciting news.  As mentioned earlier, the HTML5 vSphere Host Client for ESXi has been totally rewritten in HTML and JavaScript (no Flash!), and is served directly from the ESXi host.  The look and feel of the future vSphere Web Client will appear very similar to what you are used to seeing today in the current web client but the performance will be greatly improved.  If you are interested in seeing more about the development of the vSphere Web Client, we invite you to visit Dennis Lu‘s unofficial wiki where you can learn more and help shape the future direction of the client.

If you missed this TAM Customer Central session and you’d like to hear more, please attend the following session, presented by Dennis Lu and Yavor Boychev.

vSphere Web Client – Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow (ID INF5093)

Wednesday September 2nd at 11am, Moscone West Level 2, Rm 2020