With BYOD ubiquitous, it is becoming just about mandatory for vendors to have the ability to manage their solutions via mobile interface. Having a web-based GUI that might be able to run on a phone's browser is just not going to cut it anymore. This holds true for finance, HR and yes, even IT. So it is not surprising that VMware's VSphere team has released its own app to manage vSphere installs.
Called Mobile Watchlist, it is available for both the iOS and Android markets (no Windows app?). The App has a bunch of features, including:
EASILY CREATE VM WATCHLISTSSelect a subset of VMs from your VMware vSphere VM inventory to tell the app what VMs to track. Use multiple lists to organize these important VMs.
VMS AT A GLANCEReview the status of these VMs from your device including: their state, health, console and related objects.
SUGGESTED KB ARTICLESGot an alert on your VM? Let VMware vSphere Mobile Watchlist suggest what KB Articles might help you or search the web to gather more information.
REMEDIATE REMOTELYUse power operations to remediate many situations remotely from your device.
DELEGATE TO YOUR TEAMFor those situations where you are not able to fix an issue from the device, VMware vSphere Mobile Watchlist will enable you to share the VM and alert information along with any suggested KB articles and other web pages relevant to the current problem. Your colleagues back in the datacenter can use this context to resolve the issue.
Here are some screen shots of the app:
While there have been third-party apps available for managing VMware, this is the first native VMware app to do so. I spoke to my friend Louis Weitzman, who works on the vSphere team, about what drove them to develop the mobile app.
Lou tells me that it really became apparent that more and more people needed a means of managing their vSphere installs remotely via their phones and tablets. While data centers are always open, many times an admin responsible for a vSphere install is not on-site but still needs to manage. The market really demanded this product and Lou's team responded.
In speaking with Lou and his team I saw that this is really their first version, and it is pretty feature-full for a first try. However, there is more to add in future releases. Having spoken to several companies doing IT management and monitoring via mobile app development, I know that the vSphere app needs more multi-user team features. Right now, it is more of sending an email to the rest of the team at the data center. What about if more of the team is remote? I think adding true multi-user support is a big next step in making Watch List a true IT team app.
One thing is clear though - if you are not mobilizing the management and monitoring of your solution, you are going to be at an extreme disadvantage to your competition.