This, above all, has been the very WORST part about Vmware. Just to run Virtual Center, I had to BUY Windows, I had to Install Windows, and I had to try to learn Windows. Oh, and then I had to slap some sort of virus protection on it, and figure out how to patch it. And then worst of all try to authenciate to it, as I am not administering Active Directory. No, I use Openldap, as any Linux/Unix admin would.
Then on top of that I needed Windows to even run the VCenter Client and Connect to my VCenter Server. Well hell, I don't run Windows, not even on my desktop, not even on my laptop... not at home and not in the office. Its been this way for 5 years and VMware, is not going to make me change this.
Now, flash forward to VSphere 5.1, and low and behold, what is this. A real, fully functioning, web client for VCenter. Ok now we are getting somewhere. Now, I have not had a ton of experience with it, but my first impressions are pretty good. Its flashy, its fast, and it appears to be fully functioning.
To further make my day, the Vmware VCenter Appliance is now no longer beta (this is probably old news to most). For those who are not in the know, its Linux (albeit Suse). So I am downloading it now and am going to give it a spin. How fully functioning is it... I have no idea. Do I need a database somewhere or does it have one built in? I do know it can connect to oracle, which is really neat, but not as neat as postgres or mysql. Also, how awesome would it be if I could configure the thing to use Openldap for auth?
Dunno all the answers yet, but I should have more insight on the topic soon, so stand by.