A vSphere vApp allows packaging of multiple interoperating virtual machines and software applications that you can manage as a unit and distribute in OVF format.
A vApp can contain one or more virtual machines, but any operation carried out on the vApp, such as clone or power off, affects all virtual machines in the vApp container,From the vSphere Web Client, you can access the vApp summary page with the current status of the vApp, and you can manage the vApp.
— VMware Virtual Machine Administration Guide
- Ordered startup and shutdown
- Shutdown actions (Power Off or Shutdown Guest) per VM
- Resource management within the vApp itself
- Network configuration maintained within the vApp metadata
- Build vServices application dependencies
But there are other benefits as well. One, the vApp is managed as a whole: I can setup a vCenter vApp that automatically starts up and shuts down my vCenter Server, SQL server, domain controller, and Update Manager—all in the proper order. I can also clone my vApps, particularly helpful for dev and test scenarios. Even more, I can package it as an OVA for distribution, which, incidentally, is how VMware chooses to deploy is vCenter Operations Management Suite (formerly vCOPS) products.