How to Export Big Virtual Machine (>2TB) as OVA or OVF

I guess, you know the instruction but let’s quick review. You can export virtual machines via some different tools such as vSphere Client, vSphere Web Client and others. All administrators do it today and familiar with OVA and OVF. It’s possible to export small virtual machines via vSphere Client, vSphere Web Client, PowerCLI. If you want to do it about virtual machine with 200~300 GB virtual disks (Thin or Thick), there is serious problem, just make sure that you have enough free space. But did you try it for big or monster VM as OVA or OVF?

Let’s find the answer.

Export BIG Virtual Machine as OVA or OVF

May be. you have same experiences with big virtual machines, and you couldn’t export big virtual machines as OVF. I don’t know, what is the problem actually, because I have checked the issue on different platforms and different ways.

In my case, there was a virtual machine with 4 TB thin virtual disk. Every time, I did try and I got timed out error and operation was cancelled.

Export OVA/OVF Timed Out
Timed Out Error

What’s VMware OVF Tool

VMware OVF Tool is a command-line utility that allows you to import and export OVF packages to and from many VMware products.

May be, you couldn’t do it via vSphere Client, but you can do it for big and monster VMs by using that.

VMware OVF Tool is available as installable application for both Windows and Linux. You can download it from VMware Code Tools. Also it has prefect guide which available as PDF format to download.

The process is so simple when you have installed OVF Tool, let’s review the commands on a Windows machine. You can do it from ESXi directly or from vCenter server.

VMware OVF Tool Example

ovftool --noSSLVerify "vi://davoud@ESXi_vCenter/VM_Name "Path to save file"

That was a simple example and you can find more examples on the official guide.

Further Reading

[Script]: Check Time Synchronization with Host on Virtual Machines – PowerCLI

ESXi 5.5, 6.x IOPS Limit Not Working – Disk.SchedulerWithReservation

[How To]: Change Linux IP Address via PowerCLI

External Links

Open Virtualization Format Tool (ovftool) – VMware {code}

Davoud Teimouri

Professional blogger, vExpert 2015/2016/2017/2018/2019/2020/2021/2022/2023, vExpert NSX, vExpert PRO, vExpert Security, vExpert EUC, VCA, MCITP. This blog is started with simple posts and now, it has large following readers.

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