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May 27, 2009

OVF (Open Virtualization Format) Standard Overview (Part 1)

Filed under: ovf, virtualbox, Virtualization, virtual_appliances, vmware — natiku @ 7:34 am

In this Corner I will try to consolidate our knowledge and views to OVF (Open Virtualization Format), new Virtualization standard which promise to deliver cross-platform vendor independent distribution framework

OVF (Open Virtualization Format) Standard Origins

OVF (Open Virtualization Format) is framework originally proposed by VMware & XenSource with contributions from Dell, HP, IBM and Microsoft as neutral standard , later it was accepted as DMTF standard (Released on 23/Mar/2009).

While many public comment then OVF define simple portable Virtual Machines, this is common misinterpretation of OVF, because it try to address address wider area of Virtual Appliances and is part of wider standardization effort called “Virtualization Management (VMAN) Initiative”

OVF Standard Sources

Reference Implementation Open-OVF

Sometimes OVF Standard and related docs like CMI profiles is difficult to follow up, I use a Open-OVF Open Sourced implementation everywhere I need to get deep implementation ideas

Open-OVF is implemented in Python, is developed on/for Linux , but must be easily portable to (Open)Solaris too.

Open-OVF is integrated with other Open Source Virtualization tools like virtlib

SW with OVF support

Most referred SW here was implemented before official OVF 1.0 standard was published.

OVF Tool implementations

Note: I often us use Open-OVF as reference implementation.

OVF Import implementations

  • VMware ESX 3.5u3 and ESXi 3.5u3 support OVF
  • All latest VMware Desktop Versions support OVF and OVA, local and net based
  • Sun xVM VirtualBox 2.2.x (OVF only) (Beta 1 , Beta 2 and Pre-RR builds for now)
  • Others (add there)

OVF Export implementations

  • VMware Workstation 6.5.x (Have Converter Client)
  • Sun xVM VirtualBox 2.2.x (Beta 1 for now)
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