Some great helpers here have shown me the VMWare OVF tool for template deployment. My problem is that the tool itself stops at the "Disk Transfer Completed" step half the time I use it. This seems to be random, and when it happens I have to terminate OVFTool and start the transfer over again. The second attempt usually succeeds.

Is there something I have broken on the server that might affect this? I'm using the free edition of ESXi 4.0.


EDIT: This is how ovftool is being run:

@echo off
echo Enter the server from which to backup:
set /p Server=
echo Enter the path of the VM:
set /p VmPath=
echo Enter the username with which to login to Virtual Infrastructure:
set /p User=
echo Enter the password with which to login to Virtual Infrastructure:
set /p Password=
cd "%programfiles(x86)%\vmware\vmware ovf tool"
mkdir "C:\vmbackup\%vmPath%"
ovftool.exe --acceptAllEulas --chunkSize=4480mb --diskMode=monolithicSparse "vi://%user%:%password%@%server%/%vmPath%" "C:\vmbackup\%vmPath%\%vmPath:\\=|%.ovf"
  • Disk issue? Network issue? Are there any logs created during the OVF process that you can look at? – joeqwerty Jun 15 '10 at 23:26
  • @joeqwerty: None of which I am aware. What's also odd is how long it takes to make the OVF image. The VM box doesn't seem loaded, my box doesn't seem loaded, network utilization is low, and it's still taking several hours to create or deploy an OVF. This server isn't running on the best of hardware but.... – Billy ONeal Jun 15 '10 at 23:37
  • Are you running the OVF tool in interactive mode? – joeqwerty Jun 16 '10 at 0:02
  • @joequerty: I don't know what that means. It's being run from the command line if that's what you mean. – Billy ONeal Jun 16 '10 at 1:44
  • If I remember correctly, launching the tool with the -i switch launches the tool in interactive GUI mode. I've used that with version 1 of the tool and I'm wondering if that will give you different results or information. – joeqwerty Jun 16 '10 at 1:49

I had this very problem. I never found a solution. What I did do, is install VMWare Converter, and it worked fine. I never found out what made OVFTool slow... It sucks if you want to script it (since AFAIK there isn't a command line version of converter)...

  • VMWare Converter takes even longer. On the plus side, it seems to be moderately more reliable. – Billy ONeal Jun 16 '10 at 5:09

I use the ovftool all the time and have never noticed this sort of a problem, but I have noticed extreme slowness and the occasional failure when I'm deploying to or pulling from a slow network. What is the network situation like between the system you are running the tool from and the host? The other difference is that I use the ovftool from a linux host and not from a windows machine, is that something you can try to compare the difference?

Some other things that you might check: When the ovftool is hanging, does it still have a network connection open? Is it using much RAM or CPU?

EDIT: What version of the ovftool is it? What version of Windows are you running it from? Is it a direct connection, or are there routers/firewalls between you and the ESXi server? What version of ESXi is it?

EDIT: I've now been afflicted by this problem. ESX 4.0, ovftool 1.0.0, never seen this before. Yep, it is annoying.

  • It's Gigabit lan between the machines. When OVFTool hangs, the ESXi server thinks the export is completed (it shows "Complete" on the recent tasks list on the bottom of the vSphere Client). It is not using much RAM or CPU. – Billy ONeal Jun 16 '10 at 14:15

Appearently, the windows implementation fails - I started both and windows' version fails always at the same 7%. Linux' just works.

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