You can use an OVF to define vSphere machine properties and hardware settings that are ordinarily defined on blueprint configuration pages in vRealize Automation or programmatically by using vRealize Automation REST APIs or vRealize CloudClient.

You can also import settings from an OVF to define a value set for an image component profile. Parameterized blueprints use the image and size component profile types.

OVF is an open-source standard for packaging and distributing software applications for virtual machines.

OVF provisioning is similar to cloning, except that the source machine is an OVF template that's hosted on a server or a Web site, instead of a virtual machine template that's hosted in vCenter.

An OVF file is typically used to describe a single virtual machine or virtual appliance. It can contain information about the format of a virtual disk image file and a description of the virtual hardware that should be emulated to run the OS or application contained on the disk image. An OVA file is a virtual appliance package that contains files used to describe a virtual machine, including an OVF descriptor file, optional manifest and certificate files, and other related files.

The ImportOvfWorkflow provisioning option is available on a vSphere machine component when you define a blueprint. It's also available when you define a value set for an image component profile in the property dictionary.

You can add blueprint configuration settings to an OVF to describe the following types of information:
  • Minimum CPU, memory, and storage allocations.
  • User-configurable custom properties.
  • Component profile settings for blueprint parameterization.

OVF and OVA with multiple machines is not supported.

Essential considerations include the following statements:

  • OVF files and OVA packages are supported.
  • Basic user name and password authentication for the HTTP server on which the hosted OVF or OVA resides is supported. The specified URL is validated in the blueprint.
  • OVFs and OVAs are not data-collected from the vCenter Server.
  • EBS subscriptions are supported.
  • You can define custom properties when you import user-configurable OVF settings into the blueprint.
  • You can add, change, or remove settings obtained from an OVF import when requesting vSphere machine provisioning.
  • You can add, change, or remove, settings during machine reconfiguration.