Difference Between OVF and OVA

OVF (open virtualization format) –> is a collection of  vm files (*.vmdks, *.ovf, *.mf, *.vhd).  The OVF file  itself is just an xml file that has information about the vmdks files in the directory. When I export my VM as an OVF,  a directory is created that has an ovf file and vmdks … Take a look at my OVF directory below:

OVA (open virtualization Appliance) –> is just one single file (one single file), which could be considered as a zip of all the files that belong to the ovf directory. So if you want to share you VM on the internet you would create a single OVA file (just like a zip file). To consume the file, you have to convert it first to OVF ( just like you  unzip a file before you use it).


Distributed Management Task Force

OFV Format

Open Virtualization Format Tool


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