You can use the OVF authoring options that are included in a virtual machine's vApp options to specify custom information that is preserved when you export the virtual machine as an OVF template.

vApp properties are a central concept to vApp deployment and self-configuration. They can turn a general OVF package into a running vApp instance with a custom configuration.

The set of properties assigned to a running vApp is determined by the OVF package from which the vApp is deployed.

  • When an OVF package is created the author adds the set of properties necessary for the vApp to function in an unknown environment. For example, properties that contain network configuration, a property that contains the email address of the system administrator, or a property that contains the number of expected vApp users.

  • Some property values are entered by the user when the vApp is deployed, while other property values are configured by vCenter Server when the vApp is powered on. How properties are handled depends on the property type and the vCenter Server configuration.

When vCenter Server powers on a vApp, it creates an XML document that contains all properties and their values. This document is made available to each virtual machine in the vApp, and allows the virtual machines to apply the properties to their own environment.