Some very exciting news about the vCenter Server Appliance (VCSA) and the new HTML5 vSphere Client were announced very early on here at VMworld 2017. This news will likely answer a lot of prayers out there.
First, ending the existence of the Flash-based vSphere Web Client and introduce the new HTML5-based client that will be available in the next version of vSphere I can tell you first hand many of my customers are going to be very excited about this. A lot of their hesitation to move to vSphere 6.2 or 6.5 from a previous release was the simple fact they didn’t want to deal with the flash-based web client. They had their claws dug in deep on the old C# “fat” client. The initial release of the web client in vSphere 5.1/5.5 scared the ever living out of some of them. It was too unstable and a headache for them to manage their environment from the web interface. They can finally rest easy.
Windows-based vCenter Server is also going to be deprecated during the next release of vSphere. So no more Windows for vCenter! What’s this mean for you Windows vCenter Server folks out there? Simple. Start planning your migration to VCSA. The current migration tools to migrate to vSphere 6.x are very easy to use and many “how to” articles and videos out there to assist you with doing this. I even wrote one that you can find here. It is based on migrating to vSphere 6.0 but the concept is the same.
Lastly, don’t sweat the migration. If things go awry during the migration procedure the failback procedure is a piece of cake!
The VCSA has evolved nicely since its inception and its benefits have quickly displaced Windows Server as the platform of choice for vCenter Server. First and foremost the boot process is much smoother and takes much less time. The VCSA also has many other features over it’s Windows counterpart including…
- Native vCenter HA (no longer limited to PSC HA)
- File-based backup and restore capabilities using new VCSA management UI
- Updates and patching
Most importantly you no longer have to rely on Windows for support in the event of a vCenter outage or any other Windows related issue. The entire management stack is 100% VMware starting with the vPostgres DB to the Photon OS and then ultimately vCenter Server itself.
A great resource for you to look for out there is pretty much any VCSA article from Emad Younis.