How to import Platform OVA on a single host ESXi 6.5

Due to changes in VMware vSphere on single host setups, it is not possible to import certain OVA images if they use compressed disks, as is the case with the new Platform-9.1.ova image. To get around this, you can use the ovftool from VMware to import the OVA successfully.

Importing OVA with ovftool

The example below is for Windows, but the ovftool is available for Windows, Linux and macOS in 32-bit and 64-bit flavors.

  1. Download the ovftool:
  2. Install on the desktop that you will use to upload the image.
  3. Open an administrative command prompt.
  4. Navigate to where you installed the ovftool, which defaults to: C:\Program Files\Vmware\Vmware OVF Tool\
  5. The syntax for the ovftool is as follows:

    ovftool [parameter] source target
  6. There are many of parameters, but the minimum to deploy the Platform OVA is network (–net) and datastore (-ds):

    C:\Program Files\VMware\VMware OVF Tool> .\ovftool.exe ^
    	--acceptAllEulas -ds=disk2 --net:"nat"="VM Network" ^
    	'I:\Downloads\Platform-9.1-20180622.ova' vi://root@
    • The -acceptAllEulas switch is to accept the DataCore EULA.

    • The datastore is selected with the -ds= switch.
    • The network is selected with the --net: switch, which selects the "nat" network that the ovf expects/requires and the "VM Network" that exists on Hypervisor.
  7. Next, point to the download.
  8. Specify the host and VMware user that you are using to deploy the OVA.
  9. The output should resemble this: 

    Opening OVA source: I:\Downloads\Platform-9.1-20180622.ova
    The manifest validates
    Opening VI target: vi://root@
    Deploying to VI: vi://root@
    Transfer Completed
    Completed successfully
    PS C:\Program Files\VMware\VMware OVF Tool>


This is a simple setup; yours could be more complicated, depending on your vSphere deployment.

For more on the ovftool, see the VMware documentation.

For more on the Platform Server, see Platform Planning.

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