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Support for Open Virtualization Format (OVF) 1.0 is out!

B-winstonbumpusPosted by Winston Bumpus
Director of Standards Architecture, VMware

With
the launch of VMware vSphere™ 4 and the free VMware OVF Tool
1.0
this month, we have implemented support for the DMTF OVF
1.0 specification
across a broad range of VMware products. The VMware vSphere
4 products, VMware vCenter™ 4 and VMware ESX 4, have built-in OVF support at
both the API level and directly in the VMware vSphere Client. The stand-alone
VMware OVF Tool 1.0 brings OVF 1.0 support to VMware Workstation, VMware Server
2.0, and earlier versions of VMware vCenter and ESX.

As
part of the VMware vSphere launch, we are also making many of our products
available as OVF packages, so they are readily available to deploy onto your
data center infrastructure or your desktop. These products include the VMware vSphere
Management Assistant (vMA), VMware Studio 1.0, the technology previews of
VMware vCenter Mobile Access (vCMA), VMware vCenter Server 2.5 on Linux, and VMware
vCenter Admin Portal.

VMware
has been actively involved in the development of the OVF specification since
the beginning (the initial draft specification was submitted by VMware, Dell,
IBM, Microsoft and XenSource to DMTF in
September 2007), and our first product to ship with OVF support was VMware vCenter
2.5 and VMware ESX 3.5 (February 2008). The OVF support in those products was
based on the preliminary 0.9 specification and did not cover all aspects of the
specification. Essentially, it was limited to import/export for single VM
packages. With the release of VMware vSphere 4.0, we support the DMTF OVF 1.0
standard in full, which adds a significant set of new features:

  • Support for importing and
    exporting multi-VM OVF packages (vApps)
  • Support for the OVF environment
    and OVF properties (deployment time software customization)
  • Support for the OVA format
    (distribute your packages as a single file)
  • Support for advanced disk
    compression using delta-disk hierarchies (smaller packages)
  • Support for automatic IP
    allocation and customizable URL links in the VMware vSphere client. (never
    need to go to the VM console anymore when installing a virtual appliance)
  • Backwards compatible with OVF
    packages generated by earlier products (ready to use)

On the VMware vApp Developer blog, the engineering team behind OVF will start to dig into the
details about all these new features and how they can be put to practical use -
both by IT administrators and virtual appliance authors. So if you are
wondering about the technical details and how to apply OVF in practice, that is
a good place to go to learn more.

VMware
is pleased to be a part of the newly announced
DMTF Virtualization Management (VMAN) Forum. The group will promote interoperability between products that support the VMAN
standards. The forum will develop and conduct programs to determine
specification conformance in the areas of system virtualization management,
virtual system management, and the open
virtualization format
.

We
believe that OVF is an important standard to enable interoperability as well as
increasing capabilities while greatly reducing the time for customers to deploy
new applications and services.

[Update 2: Updated the blog link to point to the new VMware vApp Developer blog.]

[Update 1: Clarified first sentence: a technology preview of the VMware OVF Tool was released last year, but version 1.0 of the tool was released this month on May 21.]

One thought on “Support for Open Virtualization Format (OVF) 1.0 is out!

  1. brad

    A really interesting green computer technology I found is Userful Multiplier. It’s where multiple people can use the same computer at the same time each with their own monitor, mouse and keyboard. This saves a lot of electricity and e-waste. A company called Userful recently set a virtualization world record by delivering over 350,000 virtual desktops to schools in Brazil. They have a free 2-user version for home use too. Check it out: userful.com

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