Connecting VMware vSphere Client to Multiple Hosts

I am a software consultant and have multiple clients using VMware. I need to connect to the server to work on our application (RDP is not always turned on). Most of my customers want me to connect using the Vsphere client. However, most customers are using different versions of ESX which requires me to connect to their server and download their version of Vsphere. This takes a great deal of time in some cases. Is there a better way to do this or am I doing something wrong with Vsphere. I do use VMware and vSphere internally and have a licensed copy, but I am no expert. Any ideas or suggestions would be appreciated.

I guess the ultimate question is how do you consultants that support VMware connect to your clients?

Thanks in advance
Brian32003Asked:
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bgoeringConnect With a Mentor Commented:
I also have multiple versions of VMware to support and have found that if I first connect to and ESX (or ESXi) 3.5 box and install the client that covers me for 3.5 as well as VMware Server 2.0.

Next I download and install the 4.1 client from the VMware site (without uninstalling 3.5) and that will pick up support for 4.x so I am covered.

The client is architected into a launcher application that handles the connection to the server, then it will load the appropriate version of the client that is on your workstation.

Good Luck
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fluk3dCommented:
How about using the webclient as suppose to downloading the client?
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fluk3dCommented:
https://<VCENTER-SERVER-HOST/IP>/ui/#
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Paul SolovyovskySenior IT AdvisorCommented:
I have vmware workstation installed and have very small Windows XP VMs, each has a different version of VI Client, software, etc.. for each build for ESX..3, 3.5, 4.0/4.1  Boot up the VM for a particular client and allows me to use my system for everything else and the VM connects to the network.

Another option is to do a Thinapp.
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Brian32003Author Commented:
fluk3d: - Are there any limitations to using the web client?
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Brian32003Author Commented:
bgoering: - I am currently using this solution, but I am having issues with 4.0 and 4.1. When I install and use the 4.1 client and try to connect to a 4.0 I am prompted to download and install new code. Then when I connect to a 4.1 client and I am prompted again to install new code. I currently have multiple Windows Virtual PC boxes, but it is getting very difficult to manage. This gets complicated due to each client also having their own VPN software etc...  I was hoping to have 1 box to connect to all vSphere clients and then I can install the VPN software for each client as needed.

Thanks
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fluk3dCommented:
Have a quick read through the administrator's guide it should cover what it can do. I do recall it has some limitations

http://www.vmware.com/pdf/vsphere4/r40/vsp_40_web_access.pdf
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Paul SolovyovskySenior IT AdvisorCommented:
If you have access to Thinapp may be worth a try.  Just have each executable on usb flash drive and you're set.

http://blogs.vmware.com/thinapp/2008/11/step-by-step-on.html
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Brian32003Author Commented:
I have tried using the webclient, but I seem to have the same problem of needing to install a new client each time I connect based on the version of VMware the client is using.
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Paul SolovyovskySenior IT AdvisorCommented:
VMWare Workstation 7 now includes Thinapp (just got email yesterday).  With this you can create different versions of VI Client and run at will

http://blogs.vmware.com/workstation/2010/11/buy-vmware-workstation-7-get-vmware-thinapp-starter-edition-for-free.html
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Brian32003Author Commented:
bgoering: I am not sure what was going on with my machine, but this seems to be working now. I guess it needed to reboot
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