VMware’s vSphere Web Client uses Flash ? That’s pretty weak.

I have to agree in part with Trevor Potts at The Register and object to VMware’s solution to the vCenter client platform problem. He got to ask VMware why they are using Flash instead of HTML5 and he runs down the list of options.

Java – too much versioning, not much customer love (ie none, actively hated by most)

Systems administrators are already inundated with Java versioning issues. A lot of the management apps we run are Java, and a good many blow up if you use anything other than the precisely tested version it shipped with. VMware did not want to add to these troubles. An additional consideration is that by developing an application requiring bleeding edge capabilities and going Java, you write off mobile devices just as they are proliferating at unprecedented levels. tweet

Silverlight – not cross platform (and killed by Microsoft). Who cares about Silverlight anyway.

HTML 5 – not finished and not consistently deployed is true enough.

Isn’t HTML 5 supposed to be the land of faeries and unicorns, open standards and interoperability? Turns out, not so much. To build a management interface with the complexity required to meet VMware’s ambitions, they would have to code everything to the absolute bleeding edge. While core HTML 5 functionality is (mostly) gelled, the really good stuff is still a moving target that isn’t implemented properly in all browsers just yet. In the future, after the spec has settled a bit and browser vendors have pulled their fingers out, VMware would love to make an HTML5 client. It simply isn’t feasible today. tweet

In the end, Flash is the only workable choice, that no one likes for security reasons, for a good enough interactive interface.

Here is my problem: It’s 2012 and VMware is supposed to be the king, lord and master of all things “software” and they can’t build a native client for three platforms – Windows, OSX and Linux ? They have to choose a software plugin that is clearly obsolete and despised by most people as insecure, memory intensive, and failure prone. I don’t even have Flash installed on my laptop because the security risk and performance impact (and battery ) is too high. And this is what they choose to “support” their customers.

This is Bollocks.  VMware is being cheap and lame. While this new client is better than nothing it’s still nowhere near good enough. If you are a software company, then software should be easy. Right ?

via Love vSphere? You’re going to have to love Flash too • The Register. tweet

About Greg Ferro

Greg Ferro is a Network Engineer/Architect, mostly focussed on Data Centre, Security Infrastructure, and recently Virtualization. He has over 20 years in IT, in wide range of employers working as a freelance consultant including Finance, Service Providers and Online Companies. He is CCIE#6920 and has a few ideas about the world, but not enough to really count.

He is a host on the Packet Pushers Podcast, blogger at EtherealMind.com and on Twitter @etherealmind and Google Plus

You can contact Greg via the site contact page.

  • Freaky -

    I’m upset with it too – but I have to say, at least I can maintain it from my linux machine now, which is my primary OS. Even though it is much slower than on windows (yes, flash sucks, big time even, but it sucks even worse on linux (yes I know, it’s hard to believe, try it :)))

  • Xeiran

    The flash interface is both slow and clumsy compared to the windows API, can’t stand using it. Even worse that VMWare plans to get rid of the API altogether. But my *biggest* gripe and worry? Only larger enterprises will elect to afford a separate physical server to host the web interface on, while the rest of us will host it on a virtual server – and what happens when the environment crashes? Your management interface is now stuck in the same virtual environment you need to fix!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=699770911 Sven Vogel

    and its a really really slow client… so slow … no interactive feedback

  • Xeiran

    A year later we see the decision to use flash is even worse than before, since Adobe has chosen to abandon further flash development for Linux (never mind also abandoning mobile platforms).

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