In case the title was not descriptive enough, I was curious if I could build an Arm Virtual Appliance (OVA) using OVF properties that would allow for all sorts of interesting guest customizations which I have blogged about before here, here, here and here using x86 PhotonOS as a reference implementation. My idea for this actually pre-dated the release of the ESXi on Arm Fling, but it was only until recently with support for VMware Tools for Photon OS Arm, was I able to finally piece together this solution.
It was also neat to see that I could build an Arm OVA using x86 tooling (Packer and OVFTool) which ran on my desktop and you simply needed an ESXi-Arm host. This really goes to show the level of compatibility from a management and vSphere API point of view that an ESXi-Arm host behaves just like a standard x86 ESXi host!
and successfully deployed maybe the “1st” OVA on #ESXionARM?
Just confirmed all guest customization via OVF properties executed correctly! Will be publishing reference Packer image in case you wish to build your own pic.twitter.com/PiSpceXtFF
— William Lam (@lamw) October 15, 2020
To demonstrate a more interesting use case than just basic network customization for the ?first? Arm OVA, I thought it would be useful to setup a simple NFS appliance that would take input from the user such the size of the exported volume (default 60GB) and then the name of the mount point. Upon first boot up, there is a guest customization script that would read in the OVF properties and configure the networking, OS password and NFS server configuration which you can certainly use to host your Arm VMs.