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Tuesday, 25 December 2012

Difference between OVA and OVF

An OVF is a collection of items in a single folder. Most commonly
this is a description file (.ovf) a manifest file (.mf), and virtual
machine state files (*.vhd or *.vmdk)

An OVA is a single file.
The OVA is the OVF folder contents all zipped into a single file. The
purpose of the OVA is when you want to take an OVF and share it, or give
it as a download. The OVA needs to be opened into the OVF before it can
be consumed.

ESX / ESXi Version
As shown in the documentation, the OVA is used when your ESX or ESXi hosts are version 4.0 or later while the OVF is used for 3.5: