vCenter Integration Mantra

During Tech Field Day #6 in Boston one particular general feature request has become increasingly prominent;

Can we have it inside the vCenter client?

In short, what we want is for all those great third party vendors like VKernel, Solarwinds and others to be able to put their feature addons directly into the vCenter client. Currently most third party apps “integrate” by offering a new tab where you can access it, but I would love to see that being expanded even further.

As a concrete example, I would love to see for instance VKernel identify performance problems for a VM and then tell me, inside the summary tab for that VM that there is a problem. Show it to me where I do my work, which is in vCenter, and mostly on the summary screen. Dashboards are great, but we’re all suffering from dashboarditis, and the more disparate dashboards and tabs we get to have relations with, the less we’re actually able to use them properly.

Also, raise a vCenter alert to leverage my existing alerting scheme to get my attention. If a 3rd party plugin sees that something is wrong, tell me through the existing infrastructure I already have in place. No need to reinvent the wheel each and every time, from each and every vendor.

Couple that with my back-end user authentication (eg. Active Directory) for sign-on into your solution, and we’re getting much closer to the “single pane of glass” nirvana scenario we’re all craving.

From what I gather the vCenter client (I am in no way, shape or form a developer), doesn’t allow this level of integration on the VM summary screen right now but VMware needs to make it possible in the future.

We admins want this, and we need it, and frankly, I think we deserve it (and so does the 3rd party vendors contributing to this ecosystem).


Read Multi-Hypervisor Management and the Future for an updated and more forward thinking post on the same subject matter.


  1. Our organization would also love to integrate custom objects and actions into the vSphere Client. Right now we are making due with a separate Winform application. I wish adding plugins to the vSphere Client was less of a dark art for those of us that are not developers by trade. If only we could extend the vSphere client the way Firefox allows plugins to extend its functionality. Maybe we should all start an Open Source vSphere Client project :-)

  2. I don’t. You become completely dependent on VMware for everything and that’s not a competitive market. It’s very self centred to see the entire virtualization market within the VMware product and there are many more products that will, eventually, be competitive.

    IT Infrastructure is a long game, not a short one. One off wins in VMware today aren’t good for business in the long run.

  3. This is all well and good in a VMware centric environment, however in environments where there are multiple hypervisors, I feel that the oppersite is true, There is a need for one ring to rule all. I will still get my single pane of glass admin model, but it also enables me to administer my Hyper-V, ESX and XenServer hosts too.

    there are two sided to this arguement

  4. “IT Infrastructure is a long game, not a short one. One off wins in VMware today aren’t good for business in the long run”

    So whats the answer??

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