IT Systems Engineering

Tool to export Hyper-V VMs to OVF? Yeah right!

Microsoft has provided a tool for exporting out Hyper-V VMs to OVF. They  have it’s documentation here.

Frankly, this tool is useless. It does not convert Hyper-V’s vhdx format to a format which vSphere or XenServer will understand. All this tool does is to create the XML file with a .ovf extension. I be fair to Microsoft, they do mention this fact in the second paragraph of the technet document (linked above).

I used it, it just spits out the exact same vhdx file which I could have got like this:
1. stop VM
2. copy the vhdx files off the hard disk.

Maybe I was hoping to something better.

Now I am searching for a tool which will convert a vhdx to open format vhd. Here is how to do it.


I did some testing on the usability of the ovf exported by this tool. Here is what I found out:

Note: First, I  converted the vhdx to a vhd using Hyper-V manager as described above. Then I updated the ovf with the new file’s name…just the suffix .vhdx was changed to .vhd.

1. Does not work in vSphere

Upon trying to import using the vSphere client I get an error message that the dsk format is not supported. Hence the import does not even start.

2. Does not work in XenServer

The wizard does not throw up any error. The import does start but after a few minutes the import fails…no specific error was show (as is very common in XenServer’s XenCenter) Nothing was created.

Note that both VMware and XenServer are free versions.


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