vSphere Web Client - Can't add new host

I have recently setup vSphere web client, and I'm new to this so apologies if this is something basic or common knowledge.

The error I receive is "cannot contact the specified host. the host many not be available..."

This happens when I'm trying to connect to a remote host across my WAN over a VPN. I can successfully connect to my host on the local subnet without any issues. My understanding is the vsphere web client can connect to remote host?

Please let me know what I'm missing. The VPN I'm using is a standard PPTP Windows 2008 R2 RAS connection.

Thanks in advance for your help.
webzaAsked:
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
Normally, you would connect to vCenter Server (which the web client is installed on!) and this manages your hosts, and you add your hosts to vCenter Server to manage.

So is the host already added to vCenter Server for management, or you cannot add it, or cannot connect to it?
webzaAuthor Commented:
I can add a local host. I can't add a remote host over VPN.
Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
and you are connected to vCenter Server via Web Client or vSphere Client ?

can you connect to the host you are trying to add via the VPN directly via vSphere Client, it's odd because the vCenter Server is responsible for contacting the host.

So, why don't you add all the hosts locally?

adding hosts, only needs to be done once!
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webzaAuthor Commented:
Add the hosts locally? No clue what you mean.

This is a remote client/host with their own IP range and subnet.
Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
You state...

I can add a local host. I can't add a remote host over VPN.

So, I've just said, why can't you add all hosts locally to use.

I think we might need to re-wind here...on the question.

1. How many hosts do you have ?

2. What licenses do you have ?

3. Do you have a vCenter Server Management Server ?

4. Have you tried using the vSphere Client ?
webzaAuthor Commented:
This is definitely not a licensing issue. Yes, I have vCenter Server Appliance installed. I can connect to the remote host using the client software with the VPN, just not with the web client. Any other suggestions?
Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
Okay.....a few things

Your expectation is not to be able to manage the ESXi host directly via a Web Browser (Client) ? This is not possible, you can only connect directly to a Host or vCenter Server Appliance using the legacy vSphere Client.

see my EE Artcle here

Part 2: HOW TO: Connect to the VMware vSphere Hypervisor 5.1 (ESXi 5.1) using the vSphere Client

(article also applicable for 5.5 ad 6.0)

The vSphere Client (C#) legacy client, connects to vCenter Server Appliance and/or an ESXi host.

The Web Client (browser) only connects to vCenter Server, when connected to vCenter Server, you should see your ESXi hosts (already added and managed!).

Does this make sense ?

Okay, can you screen shot, your Client Software - is this the vSphere Client you are referring to?

what is the IP Address of your remote host - is this vCenter Server Appliance or an ESXi Host ?

Are you referring to the Web Client as a browser, and what are you trying to do with a browser, screenshots again would be helpful.

What URLs are you using and IP Addresses ?
webzaAuthor Commented:
Yes, that was my expectation...to have vSphere Web Client connect to an ESXi host.

When I use the web client to connect to a new host, it ask for the IP. I added the IP of the local host, and it connected find.

This lead me to believe it would do the same for a remote host. If this can't be done (as you say), then it appears my solution is not the correct one.
Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
Correct, there is no "supported" web client to connect directly to an ESXi host.

BUT, now we have established what you are trying to connect a Web Browser directly to an ESXi host for management, I can let you in on a little secret, those clever chaps at VMware Labs, have created a "fling" which allows you to do this, it's unsupported at present, but here it is:-

https://blogs.vmware.com/vsphere/2015/08/introducing-vsphere-host-client-fling.html

https://labs.vmware.com/flings/esxi-embedded-host-client

(because some smart arse, is going to come back, and say, hang on this is not correct!)

So you have all the info, to hand....supported - no, unsupported - yes.
webzaAuthor Commented:
Thanks Andrew. So, If vCenter Server Appliance (which contains the web client at https://domain.com/vsphere-client) is designed to manage multiple hosts, what is the point of this product if we can't manage remote hosts? My understanding is VCA would centralize everything across ALL your hosts. I guess it makes sense if we had multiple local hosts to manage, which we don't...

Looks like this "fling" is equivalent to using the standard client software with the added work of having to install a copy on each ESXi host. It's unfortunate that a solution doesn't exist to manage all hosts (local and remote) from one place.

Thanks again for your help.
Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
Thanks Andrew. So, If vCenter Server Appliance (which contains the web client at https://domain.com/vsphere-client) is designed to manage multiple hosts, what is the point of this product if we can't manage remote hosts? My understanding is VCA would centralize everything across ALL your hosts. I guess it makes sense if we had multiple local hosts to manage, which we don't...

You've hit the nail on the head, vCenter Server for Windows or Appliance, really comes into it's own, when you have more than one host. But don't forget, you still have access to template creation, cloning, storage of performance charts, which a single ESXi host cannot do!

vCenter Serve is just a management server, which allows management of your ESXi hosts from "a single pain of glass!"

Looks like this "fling" is equivalent to using the standard client software with the added work of having to install a copy on each ESXi host. It's unfortunate that a solution doesn't exist to manage all hosts (local and remote) from one place.

The fling allows web access to an ESXi host, which is not available at present with vCenter Server!

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