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I need to deploy vSphere Server Appliance 5.1. I have vSphere Client running locally and my internet upload is capped at 3 Mbps. It says it's going to take about 200 minutes to upload.

When selecting a URL as opposed to a local file, does vSphere Client download it locally and then upload, or does it download the OVA directly to the server?

My goal is to avoid waiting 3 1/2 hours for this to upload.

If specifying a URL isn't any faster, are there any other methods that would allow me to deploy from the datacenter instead of my office?

We don't have any Windows VM's installed on our cluster. So unfortunately I don't have a Windows machine with faster upload speed.

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A quick packet capture on your client machine would give you the answer. Also, why not deploy a client machine in the datacenter for this kind of work? – joeqwerty Oct 1 '12 at 19:37
I would have, but we didn't think about it at the time. The windows ISO is 3+GB, so it'll take even longer to upload. I would download the windows ISO directly from Microsoft, but unfortunately our download expired this month. So the only ISO we have is at the office. This is our first VMware deployment and we're mostly a Linux shop. (Our local windows machine is a VM) – Luke Oct 1 '12 at 19:41
@Luke - it's a bit on the naughty side (as in, it involves doing work on a production machine), but try remoting into to the vSphere server itself and installing the client on there. Of all the bad things people do on production servers, I think this one is fairly minor. To get started, just go to https://localhost/ and open the web interface to get the client. – Mark Henderson Oct 1 '12 at 20:19
Never mind, I just re-read and saw that you're using the appliance. – Mark Henderson Oct 1 '12 at 20:22
up vote 2 down vote accepted

You will need to log in to something on the datacenter side to download the file. It sounds like you are using linux VMs, so maybe just do a WGET to get the appliance directly from the VMWare website. After that, OVFTool will allow you to deploy an appliance to an ESXi host or cluster.

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Seems like the best way to go. My upload finished already, but I'm sure it would have worked. – Luke Oct 1 '12 at 23:20

Try logging on to the vSphere web interface one https://appliance:9443 (where appliance is the name/ip address of your vSphere appliance). This web interface is meant to replace the vSphere VI client anyway in the future, so it's fairly complete (although there's no update manager for it yet).

Given that future major releases of vSphere won't have a GUI client, you may as well get used to using the web interface now. As a long-time vSphere user I'm finding it difficult and frustrating to pull away from the GUI client, but for multi-platform management I can understand why they're doing it.

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I actually want the web GUI. Was incomplete before. Hopefully different in 5.1. When I go there I get a blank page. – Luke Oct 1 '12 at 20:27
Ah - figured it out. Have to go to https://appliance:9443/vsphere-client/. The path is important. – Luke Oct 1 '12 at 20:37
Can't find a way to deploy an OVA in the web interface. May not be in the 5.0 version. – Luke Oct 1 '12 at 20:52
@Luke - I'm at home at the moment, but I'll have a look when I get in to the office. But it looks like simply trying the URL deployment to see what happens could be worth a shot, given that it's going to take you just as long to figure out a way around it :) – Mark Henderson Oct 1 '12 at 20:59
Sorry, it appears that the web interface has no OVF abilities. At least, not that I can locate anyway. How disappointing. – Mark Henderson Oct 1 '12 at 23:49

you need to download ovftool.exe and then run the following command. It is not fully working for me, trying to figure out how to specify the datastore the ova should be imported on.....

ovftool "path_to_your_OVA_or_OVF_file" vi:root:pwd@esx_hostname_or_ip

From page 44 in the OVFTool User Guide:

Deploying an OVF Package Directly on an ESXi Host The following command deploys an OVF package on an ESXi host.

 ovftool package.ovf vi://
share|improve this answer
sorry vi://root..... – michael Feb 24 '14 at 18:15

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