OVF is a file format that allows for exchange of virtual appliances across products and platforms.

The OVF format offers the following advantages:

OVF files are compressed, allowing for faster downloads.

The vSphere Client validates an OVF file before importing it, and ensures that it is compatible with the intended destination server. If the appliance is incompatible with the selected host, it cannot be imported and an error message appears.

OVF can encapsulate multi-tiered applications and more than one virtual machine.