Just before the beginning of VMworld 2009, VMware announced the upcoming availability of Go, a free web console to manage ESXi 4.0 (ESX hosts are not supported).
Yesterday the company finally released it.
Go allows to initialize and patch ESXi hosts, create and operate virtual machines, check the VMs patching level connecting to the Shavlik Technologies service (VMware OEMs the Shavlik technology for its Update Manager – VUM).
Go is a hosted application that resides on VMware servers.
To properly operate anyway, it needs that a number of components are installed on one corporate desktop, which basically acts like a proxy.
Specifically, Go needs the Microsoft .NET framework and PowerShell, the VMware vSphere Power CLI, the Remote Console and a copy of Converter Stand-Alone.
All this software can be installed on any Windows desktop (XP SP3, Vista SP2 or 7).
The ESXi configuration that is defined online with the web GUI and executed locally with the components above, isn’t available for offline usage.
There’s no way to use Go without an Internet connection, and this means that customers may be unable to use it if VMware or their ISP have a problem.
VMware grants that it performs backups of customers’ configurations on regular basis but there may be no way for them to export such configurations (this last statement must be verified anyway).
Go is free but customers have to grant to VMware the privilege to analyze the way they use the console, which will give the company a good insight about how the SMB segment uses its virtualization platform.