Sunday, March 13, 2011

Differences between installing the OVF and the OVA for the Nexus 1000v

A coworker was recently installing the Nexus 1000v while having a desktop sharing session with another coworker and I when I noticed that for a split second, he forgot whether he was supposed to choose the OVF:


… or OVA:


Since I recently had to deploy the Nexus 1000v and have gone through the deployment guide, I spotted the hesitation and told him to use the OVA because of the version of ESXi we were using.  Seeing how I may one day forget about the difference myself, I thought it would be a great idea to write this post to quickly outline the differences for future reference.

ESX / ESXi Version

As shown in the documentation, the OVA is used when your ESX or ESXi hosts are version 4.0 or later while the OVF is used for 3.5:


Deploying an OVA directly on an ESX/ESXi Host

If you’re connected to an ESX/ESXi host directly with the VI Client or vSphere Client and try to deploy an OVA as shown in the following screenshot:


You’ll get the following error once you click on the Next button:

The OVF package requires support for OVF Properties.
Details: Line 150: Unsupported element ‘Property’


Deploying an OVF file will not throw this error message:



Steps provided in the wizard

If we have the template deployment wizard for an OVA (connected to vCenter) and an OVF (connected to an ESX/ESXi host) side by side, we’ll notice that the OVA has noticeably more steps:



Source Source
OVF Template Details OVF Template Details
End User License Agreement End User License Agreement
Name and Location Name and Location
Disk Format Deployment Configuration
Network Mapping Host / Cluster
Ready to Complete Resource Pool
  Disk Format
  Ready to Complete

The following is a side by side screenshot (OVF on the Left and OVA on the Right):


Hope the information here provides a clear demonstration of the differences between deploying the Nexus 1000v via an OVF and an OVA.

1 comment:

Sachin Thakkar said...

One more point to note:

OVA uses VM version 7

OVF uses VM version 4

(This is specifically for the N1k)