OVFTool is an extremely versatile command-line utility for importing and exporting Virtual Machines to and from the OVF/OVA format and it supports a number of VMware platforms including VMware Cloud on AWS (VMC), vSphere (vCenter Server and ESXi), Fusion, Workstation, Player and even vCloud Director (vCD).
An infrequent asks that I have seen from customers is the ability to deploy an OVF/OVA as a VM Template rather than just a Virtual Machine in a vSphere-based environment. OVFTool has had the ability to deploy to vAppTemplate for vCD-based environments, so it would make sense to also support vCenter Server VM Templates as well. Today, the workflow is a two-step process, deploy the OVF/OVA and then use the vSphere API to convert the VM to a VM Template.
With the latest OVFTool 4.3 Update 1 which was a minor release last year, we now have a new parameter called importAsTemplate which will allow customers to easily import an OVF/OVA directly into as a VM Template. Below is a quick sample using this new option and I am deploying to a VMC-based environment (see this article for requirements when using OVFTool with VMC)
ovftool.exe ` --acceptAllEulas ` --allowAllExtraConfig ` --name=PhotonOS-Template ` --datastore=WorkloadDatastore ` --net:None=sddc-cgw-network-1 ` --vmFolder=Templates ` --importAsTemplate ` C:\Users\william\Desktop\photon-hw13_uefi-3.0-49fd219.ova ` 'vi://*protected email@example.com/SDDC-Datacenter/host/Cluster-1/Resources/Compute-ResourcePool/'
Once the upload has completed, we can take a look at our vSphere UI and see that our imported OVA been automatically been converted to a VM Template!