You can use VMware vSphere as a platform for running applications, in addition to using it as a platform for running virtual machines. The applications can be packaged to run directly on top of VMware vSphere. The format of how the applications are packaged and managed is called VMware® vApp.

A vApp is a container, like a resource pool and can contain one or more virtual machines. In addition, a vApp also shares some functionality with virtual machines. A vApp can power on and power off, and can also be cloned.

In the vSphere client, a vApp is both represented in the Host and Clusters view and the VM and Template view. Each view has a specific summary page with the current status of the service and relevant summary information, as well as operations on the service.

Note

The vApp metadata resides in the vCenter Server's database, so a vApp can be distributed across multiple ESX/ESXi hosts. This information can be lost if the vCenter Server database is cleared or if a standalone ESX/ESXi host that contains a vApp is removed from vCenter Server. You should back up vApps to an OVF package in order to avoid losing any metadata.

The distribution format for vApp is OVF.