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vApprun, OVF 1.1, and ANSI/ISO Standards

In has been a while since the last update and a lot of exciting things has happens with regards to both OVFs and vApps in the meantime.

In the real code department:

I am very happy to annouce that  we just released our latest OVF-related fling on labs.vmware.comvApprun 1.0. This is a free, command-line tool that implements vApps and, OVF properties, and OVF environments for both Workstation and Fusion users. Thus, vApps are no longer just for vSphere 4. From the vApprun release notes:

A vApp is a container for a distributed, multi-VM software solution. It has power-on operations just as a virtual machine, and can be imported or exported as an OVF package. The OVF properties and OVF environment provides a flexible mechanism for parameterizing guest software inside a VM upon deployment. Using the OVF properties, it is possible to both configure OS level properties, such as IP settings, and application level parameters, such as IP addresses of external servers. The features of vApprun include:

  • vApps that contain multiple VMs and nested vApps.
  • For a vApp, the start/stop sequence of the child entities can be configured.
  • Start/stop/shutdown of vApps.
  • Create OVF properties and access the OVF environment from guest software.
  • Supports ISO and guestInfo OVF environment transports.
  • Supports fixed, transient, and DHCP IP allocation modes and IP pools.
  • Import OVF packages and run it with vApprun (using OVF Tool 2.0).
  • Export vApps and VMs created with vApprun to OVF packages (using OVF Tool 2.0).
  • Command-line, workspace-oriented user interaction.
  • Cross-platform – available for Windows/Mac/Linux.
  • VMware vSphere 4 compatible.

As a teaser, here is how to create a vApp with 2 VMs and a property:

>vapprun init
>vapprun create-vapp MyVApp
>vapprun create-vm VM1
>vapprun edit VM1 parent=MyVApp
>vapprun create-vm VM2
>vapprun edit VM2 parent=MyVApp
>vapprun def-property MyVApp key=ip type=ip:Network
>vapprun list MyVApp
Name.......: MyVApp
Type.......: vApp
IP Policy..: fixed
Name    Order StartWait WaitForTools StopWait
VM2    30  30   True   30
VM1    30  30   True   30
Property Definitions:
Key      Type   Value      UserConfig
ip      ip:Network         True
Property Settings:
Key      Value

You can download it here: vApprun 1.0 and start playing with vApps today. We will soon follow up with an more in-depth look at vApprun on this blog.

In the specification department:

The OVF  1.1 specification was released in January. This is a minor, fully backwards compatible update to the 1.0 specification. From the DMTF newsletter:

There are several new components that differentiate the OVF 1.1 specification from the original version, including:

  • Capability for file system-based images to increase flexibility at deployment time
  • A property attribute to hide password values at the user interface
  • Joliet extensions for ISO transport image
  • Clarification of how the OVF manifest contain entries for individual file chunks
  • Clarification of the referencing of manifest and certificate files from descriptor

In even more exciting news, the OVF 1.1 specification has been submitted to ICITS to become an ANSI standard, which is the first step to become an ISO standard. From the DMTF site:

DMTF has been busy extending and refining the Open Virtualization Format (OVF) specification. The organization recently completed version 1.1 of the spec and has submitted it for consideration as an ANSI and ISO standard.

This is an important milestone for DMTF. The specification will be put through a number of tests to ensure it meets a complex system of checks and balances of reviews before it is adopted as an American and International standard.

That is all the news for this time. Take care,


3 thoughts on “vApprun, OVF 1.1, and ANSI/ISO Standards

  1. David

    The download page mentions “Along with the vApprun tool, we will shortly release a technical preview of VMware OVF Tool 2.0”, any idea how soon is soon ? 🙂
    Also do you know when OVF 1.1 support will make it’s way into vSphere 4 ?

  2. Rene W. Schmidt

    The current vSphere 4 release is already OVF 1.1 compliant. Regarding, the release time frame for OVF tool 2.0, we plan to have it out well before summer. And it is already spring!

  3. amir

    Rene Can i have your email address. mine is vahid.av@gmail.com

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