Dying software forces changes to VMware’s vSphere Clients

Imminent demise of IE 11 and Angular JS means upgrades are incoming

VMware is about to make some changes to its vSphere clients, and users are going to have to jump through some upgrade hoops to remain in complete control of their VMs.

Things got slightly weird with the vSphere web client in 2016 when VMware announced that it planned an HTML5-powered replacement for its Flash-based client.

Flash is infamously insecure so Virtzilla was doing the right thing, but the company took more than two years to get the replacement to feature-parity with its predecessor, even if it did go all CI/CD and pump out regular unsupported updates.

The performance of the client on IE11 is many times worse than on other supported browsers

Even that replacement is now a little contentious as in April 2020 VMware just-about-mandated an upgrade to vSphere 6.7 because Flash will be kicked out of browsers before support ends for that edition of VMware’s flagship product.

Now comes news that VMware has ended support for Internet Explorer 11 across the board, which means its web client will be verboten.

“Running vSphere Client on IE11 negatively affects the user experience due to performance and stability issues,” VMware’s notice states. “The performance of the client on IE11 is many times worse than on other supported browsers. The multitude of issues specific for the IE11 makes running vSphere Client on it significantly more problematic.”

Once vSphere 7.0 update 2 lands, probably close to Christmas, IE 11 will drop off VMware’s supported browser list. Those of you willing to keep IE 11 in a standard operating environment will have some work to do.

VMware is also working on a new version of the vSphere Host Client, the tool for managing single ESXi hosts.

That software relies on Angular JS, which Google has sent to a farm so it can chase sheep for the rest of its days.

VMware will therefore create a new tool called “ESXi UI” to replace the Host Client.

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“The new ESXi UI will be built as a subset of the vSphere Client inheriting its Angular and Clarity based UI components,” VMware advised today. “Adopting the UI components of the vSphere Client will ensure the same user experience across the products and will nullify the need of specific knowledge to operate its functionality,” the company adds.

VMware will again use its “Flings”, software releases that probably work but aren’t supported, to dribble out versions of the new client. The first of those is due in Q1 2021 but VMware has not offered a date for delivery of the complete new client.

The Register suggests late 2021 as a likely timeframe, because Angular JS support ends on January 1st, 2022., and VMware would not want to leave users in a nasty spot. ®

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