OVF (Open Virtualization Format) Standard Overview (Part 1)
By natiku on May 27, 2009
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
- DMTF Standard Pages
- Other Sources
- Industry players working on standard for VMs (1997)
- Major Server Builders Opt For a Common Virtualization Standard (They target the "zero configuration virtualization" concept) (1997)
- Microsoft to Deliver a Platform Agnostic Standard for Virtualization (1997)
- Open Virtualization Format and virtual appliances (2008)
- Open Virtual Machine Format to benefit users (2008)
- A review of (Open Virtual Machine Format) OVF from a systems management perspective (2008)
- Reviewing DMTF OVF as a “preliminary standard” (2008)
- OVF in action: Kensho
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
- VMware vCenter Converter (Version 3.x is for Windows only, Version 4.x also support Linux)
- VMware OVF tool (Originaly it was Java now it is a Linux/MS Windows tool ?)
- VMware Studio Virtual Appliances creation tool from VMware
- Open-OVF (Don't solve Virtual disk conversions)
- IBM's Open Virtualization Format Toolkit (Need Eclipse)
- Citrix Kensho Project
- Others (Add here)
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)