Tag Archives: ova

Uploading an OVF / OVA to vCloud Director 1.5

In my previous post I wrote on Exporting an OVF / OVA file template from vCenter.  So now I thought I might cover the process of importing that OVF using the Upload feature in vCD 1.5.  If migrating VMs from a vCenter environment to a vCloud environment it is a fairly straightforward process.  For a relatively small amount of VMs you can use the Upload feature.

Click on the Catalogs tab and select your catalog from the left pane.  Under vApp Templates click on the Icon that looks like a disk drive with a green up arrow.  Alternatively click on the blue cog Icon and select Upload.


The Upload OVF package window will appear.  Click the Browse button and located either an OVF or OVA file of a package.  GIve the new VM being imported a Name.  If you have multiple Virtual Datacenters, select one from the list.  Click Upload.


The Transfers progress window will appear.


At this point vCD will validated the package, which can take some time.  If an issue is found it will error out before starting the file upload process.


Exporting an OVF / OVA file from vCenter

Exporting an OVF / OVA template from vCenter

Wikipedia defines OVF as an Open…  no I won’t go there 🙂

For the sake of topic though,  I will briefly explain OVF vs OVA.  Open Virtualization Format (OVF) is an open standard.  It’s a way of packaging and distributing virtual appliances in a platform independent way.  An OVF package will consist of a number of files.  It will contain an OVF descriptor file in XML format, disk image file/s, and optionally certificate and auxiliary files.

OVA or OVA package on the other hand is simply a tar archive of an OVF package folder in a single file.

Creating an OVF in vCenter is really simple.  The VM does need to be off to create the OVF.

Using the Web Client right click the VM and select All vCenter Actions.  Select Export OVF Template.


The Export OVF Template window will open.  The Name field will be pre-populated with the name of the VM.  Select a directory location.  Check the Overwrite existing files checkbox if you have an old export you want to overwrite.  Then select a Format (OVF or OVA).  If OVF is selected a directory will be create under the folder you selected.  If OVA is selected a single file will be created in the directory you selected.


New in vCenter 5.1 is the Advanced option.  It’s highly unlikely you need to select anything here.  I’ve seen this referred to as a lossless OVF export.  Apart from preserving the UUID and MAC, the extra configuration checkbox will preserve the PCI slot numbers and boot order.


Click OK and the OVF will be created.  Whether you select OVF or OVA the virtual disks will be compressed during the export conserving storage.

There is also a command line utility called OVF Tool.  The VMware Community link is below.  OVF Tool is a good way of creating automation scripts.  It contains a rich set of command line options to are not normally available via the vCenter client.


Wikipedia Open Virtualization Format

Open Virtualization Format Tool