Terraform is one of the most popular Infrastructure as Code (IaC) tool out there today and it should come as no surprise there is Terraform provider for vSphere which many of our customers have been using. In fact, VMware just recently released a couple more new providers (here and here) supporting VMware Cloud on AWS and NSX-T solutions respectively.
Although I have used Terraform and the vSphere provider in the past, it has not been my tool of choice for automation as it still lacks a number of basic vSphere capabilities which I require on a regular basis. The most common one being the ability to deploy a Virtual Appliance (OVA/OVF) which has been my biggest barrier and I know this has been a highly requested feature from the community as well.
In early May of this year, I noticed that v1.18 of the vSphere provider finally added support for OVA/OVF deployment and I was pretty excited to give this a try and may even have been the first to kick the tires on this feature? Although OVA/OVF support was added, it looks like support for customizing OVF properties which is commonly included as part of an OVA/OVF would only possible if you are cloning from an existing imported OVA/OVF image. One of the most common use case is to import an OVF/OVA from either your local computer or from a URL and it looks like this use case was not possible.
I filed two Github issues, one for supporting OVF properties for initial OVA/OVF deployment and another regarding a bug I ran into when importing OVA/OVF from a remote URL. Just yesterday, I got the good news that my feature request has been completed and I was given an early drop of the vSphere provider to try out this feature. I may have also hinted to the Engineering team to use my popular Nested ESXi Appliance OVA as a reference test implementation as I knew this was something many customers will want to deploy 🙂
UPDATE (06/23/20) - Support for OVA/OVF properties is now available as part of 1.20 of the Terraform Provider for vSphere