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Web Access

Web Access is designed to allow you to manage virtual machines from anywhere without requiring special software to be installed on the host from which you are trying to connect. Web Access is not as robust or feature friendly as the VI client, and it allows for limited functionality but can be useful when you need to perform certain tasks from a machine that does not have the VI client installed or if you need to pass an administrative tool with limited features to a group like the helpdesk, for example.

To access Web Access, you need to point your Internet browser to either the IP address or fully qualified domain name (FQDN) of your ESX host or your VirtualCenter Server. If you point to your ESX host, you are able to manage virtual machines that are on this host only. If you log in to VirtualCenter Web Access, you are able to manage all your VMs.

After logging in to Web Access, you can select any VM in the list and you are able to perform the following tasks, shown in Figure 8.4:

  • Enumerate VMs
  • Launch console access to a VM
  • Manipulate all power functions against a VM
  • View a VM's status
  • Edit VM configuration
Figure 8.4

Figure 8.4 Virtual machine Web Access view.

Web Access Minimum Requirements

The minimum system requirements to successfully connect and log in to Web Access are as follows:

On a Windows machine:

  • Internet Explorer 6.0 or higher
  • Firefox 1.0.7 or higher
  • Netscape Navigator 7.0 or higher
  • Mozilla 1.x

On a Linux machine:

  • Firefox 1.0.7 or higher
  • Mozilla 1.x
  • Netscape Navigator 7.0 or higher

Remote Console URL

One of the very cool things you can do with Web Access is to generate a regular web URL to a particular virtual machine. This URL gives you or any user you send it to direct access to this virtual machine. This capability is useful when you want to provide someone access to a virtual machine directly; you can just as easily paste the URL link into an email and send it to that person.

To generate a URL for a VM, you can simply click the Generate Remote Console URL link shown in Figure 8.4. This brings you to a screen similar to the one shown in Figure 8.5 that allows you to configure different settings to control which user interface features the user has access to.

Figure 8.5

Figure 8.5 Generate Remote Console URL window.

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