The VMware Fusion and Workstation team just released their 2017 Tech Preview releases and there is a ton of new and awesome capabilities which you can read more about here and here. One of the exciting new features, which I was very fortunate to have been involved with is finally here, native OVF property support! Although customers have had the ability to import OVF/OVAs for some time now, if they included OVF properties, they would be ignored and often times this would result in a failed deployment as those properties are required for the initial setup.

A great example of this is trying to run the vCenter Server Appliance (VCSA) on either Fusion or Workstation. Today, the only workaround is to manually edit the VMX file and supplying the correct OVF properties which I have blogged about here. With the latest TP release of Fusion/Workstation, when you import an OVF/OVA that contains OVF properties, the UI will automatically render the required information directly into the UI without needing users to manually touch the VMX files.

Here is a screenshot of deploying the latest VCSA 6.5d OVA (jump to bottom for some additional VCSA tidbits when deploying to Fusion/Workstation):

In addition to Fusion/Workstation, OVF support is also supported with VMware Workstation Player (formally VMware Player):

Tidbits on deploying the VCSA on Fusion/Workstation TP

If you are looking to run the latest VCSA 6.5 release on either Fusion/Workstation, here are a few tips/tricks

  1. Make sure you have sufficient memory on your physical system. The Embedded VCSA deployment requires minimum of 10GB, which you should be able to safely tune down to 8GB (at least from my testing and what I have seen others do as well).
  2. If you want to do DHCP, you can simply leave all the OVF options empty and the only mandatory field is the System Configuration password as you will need that when logging into the VAMI. The rest can be left blank
  3. Before you can go to VAMI UI to configure "Stage 2" (you can read more about that here), you need to wait ~10-15min (depends on the speed of your system) for it to get initialized. You will know it is ready when the DCUI console displays the IP Address of your system. If it says localhost, then it is still initializing, so please be patient and give it some time.

4. After the DCUI shows ready, you can then open a web browser to the VAMI URL (https://[IP]:5480) to complete the VCSA configuration as shown in the screenshot below.

5. If you prefer to automate both Stage1/Stage2 configurations of the VCSA so you do not have to manually perform #4, check out this blog post here for the details.

I know many of our Fusion/Workstation customers will be very happy to see this feature! Hopefully folks will give the Tech Preview a try, especially with all the other new features and this is where your feedback will be critical and help us influence the products. If you have any comments or requests, be sure to post in the Fusion TP communities or Workstation TP communities.

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