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I have an ovf template sitting on an esx's local datastore and am looking to deploy it to that same data store. can I do this directly?

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3 Answers 3

OVFs aren't really made for deploying over and over again. I would recommend that you deploy the OVF once (but don't power it on [Unless you need to make customizations]) and do one of two things with the new VM:

  1. If you're using vCenter convert the VM to template and then deploy the template whenever you need a new instance. This is the best option.
  2. Copy the VM folder into a new folder whenever you need a new copy of the VM and select "I moved it" when the vSphere client prompts you.
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I haven't tried this myself (as I don't have a local OVF at the moment). But you might be able to deploy by grabbing the OVF from the local HTTP server. See http://blogs.vmware.com/esxi/2010/01/scripting-datastore-access.html for information on accessing the datastore over the HTTP server.

If you OVF was called vm.ovf in the root of datastore1 the URL would look something like:

http://localhost/folder/vm.ovf?dcPath=ha-datacenter&dsName=datastore1

I am not sure if this requires authentication or not for localhost or if the Deploy OVF dialog allows you to enter HTTP authentication credentials. Worth a try.

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The "Yo dawg, I know you like VMs..." solution:

  1. On the ESX server you want to deploy to, create a Windows VM
  2. Install vSphere Client on it.
  3. Use the VM's vSphere Client to deploy OVF templates using their datastore URLs

    http://<esx host>/folder/<ovf path>?dcPath=ha-datacenter&dsName=<your datastore>

From a suggestion on the VMware forums: http://communities.vmware.com/thread/274107

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