• Matt Sherif

Exporting VMs to OVA format

In working with a customer, I encountered a bit of an issue and confusion regarding what files to select when importing an OVF into their VMware infrastructure. I won't delve into the specifics of OVF vs OVA, but for the scope of this post know this:

  • An OVF gives you a folder of multiple files, you must select the OVF as well as the corresponding files needed to import

  • An OVA is a single file that contains all the files needed for deployment

For simplicity sake it's easier to deploy OVAs to avoid confusion on what files need to be selected for the import to work. Working in previous versions of VMware vSphere, you used to be able to export from the GUI, however now in 6.7 that option is not available from the web interface. I wanted to give this customer a single file so that they can deploy with ease moving forward, and it appears to be possible with the VMware PowerCLI.

VMware PowerCLI is a Powershell based set of tools you can use to interact with your VMware infrastructure directly via the CLI, it's incredibly powerful. First you need to import the OVF in question (Skip this of you're just looking to export to OVA) and then use the following commands to export the VM in question to an OVA:

Connecting to the vCenter Server:

Exporting the VM to OVA:

It's important to note that the destination should be a file name, and the -Format option be set to "Ova".

Once that's done, you should be able to import the template as an individual file rather than having to select multiple files.

Thank you for reading, I hope this is helpful.


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