got it working!! For users with VMware server my steps for using OVA files are as follows:
- Download/install/run VMware vCenter Converter (I also recommend to just install the standalone)
- Click on the icon to “Convert Machine” or go File, New,”Convert Machine”
- In the wizard that pops up, select “Virtual Appliance” and browse to the “.OVA” file. Hit next and next again.
- Choose “VMware Workstation or other VMware virtual machine” from the first drop down.
- For the second drop down choose your VMware product, in my case it was “VMware Server 2.x”
- Browse to your location where you keep your VMs and hit next.
- Edit or change any options you like, I left mine at defaults.
- Then next your way through till it runs. You should be taken back to the main screen and the status will show as “Completed” when it’s done.
Once done you can add the VM using the server management interface just like you would any other appliance. The OVA file appears to be nothing more than a package for VMs similar to how ZIP files are used.
I was able to figure this out thanks to a commentator on VMware forums named Tim F. Thanks Tim!