Feature Request : Web Console

Availability for the Always-On Enterprise

Re: Feature Request : Web Console

Veeam Logoby smoore33 » Sun Aug 27, 2017 10:53 pm 2 people like this post

+1 for please do not do this, for the reasons already mentioned! Just say no! Please!
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Re: Feature Request : Web Console

Veeam Logoby oscaru » Mon Aug 28, 2017 4:38 am

Wmvare 6.5 html client has improved a lot, and performs well.
Having an alternative html UI would be great for admins using OS different than Windows, like MacOS or Linux
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Re: Feature Request : Web Console

Veeam Logoby HannesK » Mon Aug 28, 2017 6:02 am 5 people like this post

+1 against HTML only

I talked to some QA guys from a software company that is currently migrating to HTML5 and they told me that it is "a mess". From their perspective it is easier to develop fat UI for different operating systems instead of browsers that follow no standards (HTML5 is not a real standard, it just looks like a "standard").

In general, you need really fast CPU, so it will not work on old devices. They say that Chrome usually works. Firefox ESR is okay, all other Firefox versions unsupportable. Microsoft Edge does not have all features yet and it is a mess to test because you have to install tons of OS versions as you cannot install Edge in different versions. Internet Explorer does not support latest features of HTML5 and will never do (Edge will do that). Safari is the "new IE" - it just breaks everything. Although on iOS everything should be rendered by Safari engine, this does not guarantee that it looks the same in Chrome, Firefox and Safari on iOS. Simulations have to be done on real devices of different generations, screen resolutions etc. because simulations are not reliable. Android: same story. Ah, and don't forget Window laptops with touch-displays. They behave different than non-touch devices.

Yes, they will be able to do it but they will need many more resources than today (and they don't have 250k customers).

If they succeed, their customers will be happy because from a customer perspective HTML is really cool. If they fail, well, see VMware...
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Re: Feature Request : Web Console

Veeam Logoby Cragdoo » Mon Aug 28, 2017 9:43 am

HannesK wrote:+1 against HTML only

Don't think I've mentioned HTML only, but as an alternative

So now that VMware has announced the end of the Web client, effectively forcing everyone to use the HTML client in future, will Veeam be re-writing their vCenter plugin to integrate into the HTML client? ..if so then next logical step is their own HTML client ...I jest :) :P
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Re: Feature Request : Web Console

Veeam Logoby Gostev » Mon Aug 28, 2017 5:37 pm 1 person likes this post

Cragdoo wrote:will Veeam be re-writing their vCenter plugin to integrate into the HTML client?

Yes, in fact the work has already started.
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Re: Feature Request : Web Console

Veeam Logoby hyvokar » Mon Sep 04, 2017 7:34 am 1 person likes this post

Cragdoo wrote:I'd disagree and I'll refer you to the VMware web client as a great example of how to handle the migration. The fact that VMware allowed you the choice of the C# client while the were developing the web client should really help people wean themselves onto a new client.

You are kidding, right? I mean, vmware has been building their web client for over 3 years now, and it still doesn't work. And none knows, which version of host client / web (flash/html5) client / browser they should be using (it really does not matter, since now you will be needing thick client, web client AND powershell cli/ssh to get things done). Check https://communities.vmware.com/thread/477686 to see, how happy people are with web client.

So +1 for veeam NEVER going for the web client.
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Re: Feature Request : Web Console

Veeam Logoby rawtaz » Mon Sep 04, 2017 3:43 pm 7 people like this post

+1 for a web based API to support a HTML5 client, assuming it is done properly (but that's pretty much a given expectation, why would anyone ask for a badly designed or non-working HTML5 client).

There seems to be a lot of FUD regarding HTML5 in this thread. I'm not sure everyone in this thread understands how well a HTML5 based interface can work. Probably due to having been exposed to bad ones. Of course, it's just not HTML5 we're discussing here (also JS,CSS and the backend stuff), but for sake of brevity let's continue to use that word alone.

Regarding the VMware thing though; You cannot blame HTML5 for what VMware did. Their failure is based on two things; 1) their initial decision to replace the vSphere Client with a Flash based client (this was about the most stupid thing they could have done, and in light of what any web developer would have told them, had they just asked, it's even more silly), 2) their incompetence or lack of effort (you decide which) to make the client better during the time it's been out there.

By #2 I mean that if they just wanted to, they could fix the issues in it rather swiftly and release a client that works well and has the features people are annoyed with the lack of. They seem to be getting there, but it's not a matter of whether "HTML5" can do it, it's about VMware just getting it done. Just because they didn't do it right, doesn't mean it can't be done right.

I've been developing web based applications for more years than I can remember, and I can definitely tell you that HTML5 and related technologies is perfectly capable of providing a well designed, highly usable and user friendly interface even for Veeam stuff. It's just about doing it right. If there's a problem here, it's not the technology.

Regarding the development of it, sure, there's sometimes a lot of headaches due to this and that browser (they all have their pros and cons), but in general HTML5 has been around for so long now, that all or most of the things you need to build this type of client is there and supported by the browsers that are relevant for this discussion. It's possible the effort needed to produce this client compared to one that is more platform specific is greater though, as there are more parts involved to get right.

Someone mentioned CPU load, but this isn't really rocket science - the frontend we're talking about here isn't going to do a ton of processing. None of what it needs to do is CPU intensive enough to be a problem AFAIK. And sure, there can in some cases be a bit of network delays, but as long as you're not on a slow connection it should just be fine. Just think about how much actual data needs to be transported to your UI, in the cases where there's the most going on in the current client - not very much at all.

One thing I would appreciate is if we could get to a point where we don't need Windows systems just to run Veeam. But that's probably a bit far away, since even if we get a web GUI, there's still the actual backup controller, proxy, etc that has to be run on Windows. So from that perspective, my personal use case for a HTML5 client is rather limited. What I need to do I can do in a Windows client, since I have to have Windows set up for Veeam anyway :/

If there's a HTML5 client created, then heck yes, it definitely should be working through an API that other people can build stuff around if they want! That's one of the pros with this type of solution. So perhaps, as some people here seemed to suggest, the best way forward into HTML5 land is to simply provide that API, so the community might start writing som stuff around it, showing the way to what might later become a design and feature set in the final client.

Also, make the things open source so people can contribute.
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Re: Feature Request : Web Console

Veeam Logoby nitramd » Tue Sep 05, 2017 4:03 pm 1 person likes this post

What's with the hatred of a web/HTML5 client? Is the impiication that Veeam would produce an equally crappy product given VMware's experience? I think not!

We can accomplish amazing things with a web browser on a smartphone or tablet.

Here's a +1 for a well thought out/designed Veeam HTML5 client as an alternate to the current PC only client.
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Re: Feature Request : Web Console

Veeam Logoby mkretzer » Tue Sep 05, 2017 4:39 pm

@nitramd If that is so why so many companies provide a "fat" app on Android and IOS (for example VMware watchlist which is really good)?
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Re: Feature Request : Web Console

Veeam Logoby nitramd » Tue Sep 05, 2017 5:59 pm

@mkretzer, it's really quite simple. Taking Apple as an example, in 2015 the App Store took in total revenue of $20 billion with developers taking in ~$14 billion while Apple took in ~$6 billion. For 2016, the App Store's total revenue was more than $28 billion with ~$8.5 billion going to Apple and almost $20 billion going to developers.

With this economic model, clearly there's a lot of money to be made selling "fat apps". I would posit that there's nowhere near that amount of revenue generated by using a web browser, i.e. Apple would not be making revenue from a service provided.
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Re: Feature Request : Web Console

Veeam Logoby tdewin » Tue Sep 05, 2017 6:20 pm 1 person likes this post

Well one thing about those phone apps is that they can be used offline (e.g most of the time, this is actually the paying part of the app). Also by making an app, you can cache a lot of data so you don't need to re-download all the pictures all the times (or cache other data)

We are talking about managing B&R so by default, you would need be able to be connected. Probably you will be working from a fixed station where bandwidth is less an issue.

And finally it doesn't mean that if you are designing an HTML5 client, it HAS to support running it on a phone or tablet or whatever. It is of course something to consider. I think rawtaz nailed it here. If we would start with a good Rest API, then who knows what the community could build. Building a limited app for smartphone, would certainly be something we could do. Imagine being able to just check on your jobs and restarting them from the bar (hopefully not to drunk). I even considered building this on top of VAC. BTW all those phone apps, how do you think they communicate with mother ship to get the latest data?

I love this discussion because it shows a versatile set of opinions, not only among the end-users but also between Veeam employees :)
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Re: Feature Request : Web Console

Veeam Logoby Didi7 » Tue Sep 05, 2017 7:44 pm

Agreed, the VMware vSphere Client is still not fully equipped with all features the vSphere Web Client offers, but it develops very well. Using Chrome in combination with the HTML5 vSphere Client is ok and in our enviroment with 15 locations (and same amount of data centers) and more to come, performs very well, but VMware should push development much more, as promised on last years VMworld. Adobe Flash Player (necessary for the vSphere Web Client) is a no go, specially since this plugin tends to crash from time to time.

Using the VMware Fling version of the vSphere Client, you don't need to wait for new developments coming up with new vSphere releases ...


Therefore, I am not against a web console for Veeam B&R at all, if it's speedy enough ;)

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Re: Feature Request : Web Console

Veeam Logoby nitramd » Tue Sep 05, 2017 9:01 pm

@tdewin, I should have mentioned that I would want to use a smartphone or tablet in place of laptop especially when offsite; on a phone/tablet, I would rather use a browser than yet another app. Is it possible to use a browser to manage B&R? I don't know but I would expect that the smart people Veeam should be able to figure that out :D My apologies for the lack of clarity.

@Didi7, I've just started using the Opera browser after being disgusted with Edge, Firefox, and Chrome - so far so good with Opera, much less heartburn. Thanks very much for the information regarding the Fling I'll have to try it out.

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Re: Feature Request : Web Console

Veeam Logoby rawtaz » Tue Sep 05, 2017 11:56 pm

I just noticed that there's a subforum named RESTful API, then I found the reference for it as well. I had no idea! Not sure if this is only available in the Enterprise version? Nonetheless, seems like there's already a starting point on the topic we're discussing here :)
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Re: Feature Request : Web Console

Veeam Logoby vmniels » Wed Sep 06, 2017 12:02 am 1 person likes this post

The current Restful api only allows you to do things that can be done in the Enterprise manager. Not the full console hence this thread started to create a full blown API :-).
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