I was sitting in my living room yesterday evening with iPhone in hand ready to log onto one of my virtual test servers to perform a few changes. Usually this wouldn’t be a problem as I recently purchased the WYSE client app for the iPhone, and most tasks can be performed quite easily (well worth the £8.99). I completely forgot that I had actually shut this vm down a few days ago to make room for a new build – when I say room I really mean that I needed the physical RAM availability!
Then I got thinking, wouldn’t it be great to have an app that could manage ESX and VCenter. All to save me getting up and walking the 2m to grab the laptop off of the sideboard!
I had a quick search around and stumbled across the VManage app for a reasonable £1.79. I read the reviews etc and decided that although some users were having issues with various iOS releases or different VCenter flavours, I’d still give it a go. Well I should probably have listened to the reviews and saved my cash. Although the app is filled with promise the delivery leaves a lot to be desired. After numerous failed connection attempts (to ESX 4.1 and VCenter 4.1 – although admittedly not on the supported list) and ESX 4.0 I submitted a bug report to the developer and continued my search. (I should also mention that I’m running iOS 4.0 which I found also to be unsupported..!)
Now I don’t think I’ve had my head in the sand for the last year or so, but I stumbled across a VMware Beta product called VCenter Mobile and in all honesty I’ve never heard about this project. So I download the Beta appliance to have a better look.
The appliance is in OVF format so the import into VCenter takes just a few minutes. After the install you need to log onto the console to configure the network settings (DHCP enabled by default). Once the initial config has been set you can then navigate to https://servername:5480 to make any other network related alterations. The default username/password is set as root/vmware. Obviously the password should be altered.
The appliance can be accessed from http://servername/vim where it acts as a proxy for the IP/hostname of your VC or ESX server you wish to access. These entries are saved in a list view for later use, very handy.
I’ve tested this on ESX4.0 and VC4.1, all functioning with no issues so far. I’ve taken a few screenshots to show as examples, including general views (ESX & VC), VMotion migrations options etc.
Best of all it’s web based (running on Apache Tomcat) so can be accessed from any mobile device with a browser, and it’s free! This will be one Beta program I’m definitely keeping up to date with from now on (that’s if it isn’t dropped for a more Apple friendly option – view here).