On the vCenter HTML 5 Web Client

I've been using the HTML 5 web client for the past couple of weeks now, and I wanted to post my impressions so far.  It's obviously not feature-complete yet, but most of the "day to day" functions are there.  I'm really impressed by what I've seen, it's snappy and intuitive; everything that we wanted the old web client to be.

It kindof reminds me of the whole Windows 8 to 8.1 to 10 progression.  In Windows 8, Microsoft introduced a lot of new ideas... but they really changed the way people worked and they did so in ways people didn't want.  It was too new.  In 8.1, they scaled it back and then in 10 they scaled it back again, until I feel like Windows 10 has a nice balance of new features/philosophy while still respecting the way that we do our work.

The Flash Client was too new; it was Windows 8.  We had completely new work flows that felt awkward and alien.  They weren't bad, but they didn't respect the way that we had all learnt to work.  The HTML 5 Client has scaled back the "newness" while keeping the new features/philosophy.  It feels intuitive to use, which is to say that I can just look at the interface and very swiftly get to where I want to go without having to search through many different screens.

For example, one of the biggest things that makes day to day operations faster is that the HTML 5 client defaults to expanding the list of child objects, so when you expand a VM Folder, it'll show you all 500 VMs within it, instead of creating a synthetic "500 VMs" object that you then need to browse the related objects of.

Also, and this is perhaps the best compliment that I can give it, it is fast.  The interface is very responsive and it feels like using the C# client.  When you click on a folder, there's a very brief delay as it pulls the list of VMs that are in that folder (I'm talking < 1 second) and then there they are.  Need to sort a large list of VMs?  Once again, there's a small delay (depending on the number of VMs), but it comes back at least as quickly as the C# client did!

I'm already deploying the HTML 5 Appliance at all of my sites (even if it is mainly for me and the other consultants); I can't wait for it to hit feature parity so that I can completely move over to using it!


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