I received this when starting a VM (in ovf) format downloaded from the VMware appliance marketplace. What I thought was odd was that this was on an already running ESX server.
Researching the background it appeared that by default Dell ship their 2900 Poweredge servers with virtualisation capabilities turned off (which suggests that none of the running vms on this particular server were using specific virtualisation features through hardware).
The solution was to power down all the vms running – boot into the 2900 bios and enable the virtualisation feature – simple as that and reboot.
The vm started without complaint.
In addition with regard to the ovf based format and the much more commonly distributed vmdk
How does VMDK compare to OVF?
VMDK is a file format that only encodes a single virtual disk from a virtual machine. A VMDK does not contain information about the virtual hardware of a machine, such as the CPU, memory, disk, and network information. A virtual machine may include multiple virtual disks or VMDKs. An administrator who wishes to deploy a virtual disk must then configure all of this information, often manually, using incomplete documentation.
The OVF format, on the other hand, provides a complete specification of the virtual machine. This includes the full list of required virtual disks plus the required virtual hardware configuration, including CPU, memory, networking, and storage. An administrator can quickly provision this virtual machine into virtual infrastructure with little or no manual intervention. In addition, the OVF is a standards-based, portable format that allows the user to deploy this virtual machine in any hypervisor that supports OVF