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 Managing ESX 4 and 5 from the same workstation 
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Joined: Fri Sep 09, 2011 9:50 am
Posts: 12
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Post Managing ESX 4 and 5 from the same workstation
Hi,

Just at the moment I need to work sometimes on a couple of ESX 5 hosts, but also with a 4.1i host (and occasionally on a 3.5 as well).

Is there any way to do this sensibly from one workstation? It seems that each needs there own version of the Vsphere client, and there's no backwards or forwards compatibility. I've had to resort to ...

Install the 4.1 clients on my personal workstation. RDP to the Vcenter box if I need to access either of the 5.0 hosts. Run a VM on my local PC to get access to the 3.5 client, which is only a very occasional requirement.

Does anyone know of a clever way to do this?

Thanks, Tony S


Tue Nov 01, 2011 1:44 am
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Joined: Mon Jul 25, 2011 2:22 pm
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Post Re: Managing ESX 4 and 5 from the same workstation
At least both the 4.x and the 5.0 client can be installed and used on the same machine without problems.
When you connect to a host or vCenter server the right version will be automatically used.

I do not have the 3.5 version installed in addition, but this should also work. Just install all client versions one after the other starting with the oldest one: 3.5 first, then 4.x, then 5.0.

- Andreas

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Tue Nov 01, 2011 3:19 am
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Joined: Fri Sep 09, 2011 9:50 am
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Post Re: Managing ESX 4 and 5 from the same workstation
peetz wrote:
At least both the 4.x and the 5.0 client can be installed and used on the same machine without problems.

Cheers. I thought I'd tried that, I'll give it another go.


Tue Nov 01, 2011 3:56 am
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Joined: Fri Sep 09, 2011 9:50 am
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Post Re: Managing ESX 4 and 5 from the same workstation
Hmm .. not 100% successful. When I installed the 5.0 client it has created a separate 5.0 directory below the main path
C:\Program Files (x86)\VMware\Infrastructure\Virtual Infrastructure Client

However the actual executable to start the 5.0 client is in a separate directory :
C:\Program Files (x86)\VMware\Infrastructure\Virtual Infrastructure Client\Launcher

And has clearly over written the 4.1 launcher.

Looks like I need to do some strategic renaming of directories to get both to co-exist.


Tue Nov 01, 2011 4:26 am
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Joined: Mon Mar 16, 2009 10:13 pm
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Post Re: Managing ESX 4 and 5 from the same workstation
What you saw was the expected behavior. You end up with a client directory for each version you install. The launch application will be the latest version and you always start it. After you connect to the host it figures out which version the ESXi host is and which version of the client files to run.

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Tue Nov 01, 2011 8:16 am
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Joined: Fri Sep 09, 2011 9:50 am
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Post Re: Managing ESX 4 and 5 from the same workstation
Thanks, that sounds almost too good to be true ...


Tue Nov 01, 2011 8:21 am
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Joined: Mon Jul 25, 2011 2:22 pm
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Post Re: Managing ESX 4 and 5 from the same workstation
Sometimes even good things become true ...

Dave described it pretty well, and indeed VMware *intentionally* designed the installation packages this way to allow for the co-existence of different client versions.
And I can confirm that it works well at least with the 4.x and 5.0 versions.

- Andreas

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Image VMware Front Experience Blog: Home of ESXi-Customizer and ESXi-Customizer-PS, the ESXi5 Community Packaging Tools and the V-Front Online Depot of ESXi software.


Wed Nov 02, 2011 9:10 am
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Joined: Fri Sep 09, 2011 9:50 am
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Post Re: Managing ESX 4 and 5 from the same workstation
Thanks everyone. I cleaned up a bit, and did some uninstalling, then installed the Vsphere client 2.5, then 4.1 then 5.0. Now I can attach to the old ESX 3.5 server, my lab ESXi 4.1 or the 5.0 Vcentre all from the same shortcut.

I wish I could remember what I did before, but whatever it was when I connected to a server with non matching version, it automatically downloaded and overwrote the client.

Thanks again.


Thu Nov 03, 2011 3:32 am
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