How to deploy an OVF
when vCenter won't let you
This afternoon I was trying to deploy a CloudForms appliance on vCenter 6.5. One of the “features” of vCenter 6.5 is that it now requires you to only use their web console. The problem is that when I used their web console to deploy the OVF, I received and error telling me that I was unable to deploy an OVF with this version of the web console
The error i received was:
“This version of vCenter Server does not support Deploy OVF Template using this version of vSphere Web Client. To Deploy OVF Template, login with version 18.104.22.168 of vSphere Web Client”
This is a crappy place to be in because I need the appliance up, yet every way I tried to deploy it failed. I finally got the idea to try and deploy the OVF to an individual ESXi host rather than vCenter. This process would at the very least walk me through the VM build out and registration, and I’d figure out how to get it registered in vCenter later. In my case I still had a few ESXi hosts that were 6.0, so I was still able to use the VIClient, which is my favorite way to interact with VMware infrastructure. Below are the steps I used to work through this issue.
- I opened up VIClient and pointed it at one of the individual hosts and not the vCenter (you’ll get a warning about the fact that the host is managed by another system, just ignore the warning)
- Click File > Deploy OVF Template
- Tell it where to OVF file, this can be a local file or a URL, click Next
- It will present you with details about the appliance, check it over and click Next
- Give it a name, I kept the default Red Hat Cloudforms 4.2, click Next
- Tell it which datastore you want to deploy to, click Next
- It will confirm the datastore and tell you how much space is left, click Next
- You will then be asked what Network you want to attach it to, enter a Network and click Next
- Confirm the Deployment Settings, click Finish
So at this point I was able to verify that my appliance was deployed and now I needed to figure out how to get vCenter to become aware of this. I opened up vCenter and by chance looked at my VMs and realized that it had already figured out the VM was there! Back in the day when I was fighting the operations fight day and night, this would have never worked. But I was pleased to see that there was some intelligence now in the hypervisor/vCenter relationship that allows for VM registration awareness.
All I had to do was power on the VM and I was in business!