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Kimbro Staken of Virtualization Daily is the CTO of the newly unveiled virtual appliance startup JumpBox, posted some thoughts on the new Virtual Appliance Marketplace. While it is true we compare the VAM to iTunes,  I think it was the concept of integrated ease-of-use rather than the iTunes feature set we were invoking — see Srinivas’s blog entry for more context. We also have some things on the drawing board for the site (and for the products) that will make downloading and keeping track of updates for your virtual appliances much easier. Here’s his entry:

At VMWorld on Monday I heard this described as kind of like the
iTunes for virtual appliances which would be cool, but it’s along way
from that (if that even makes sense). Not a bad thing, but definitely
more of a baby step than I was expecting to see. It’s early days still
though, so hopefully in the next few months it will evolve a bit more
to become a true marketplace.

Kimbro also talks about how the new appliance certification program interacts with his platform. We ask for people to do things like including the VMware Tools to ensure that the end-user experience is superior. But best practices are still developing and we want to work with companies like JumpBox and others to establish standards for this important new software production and deployment paradigm.

VMWare announces certification program for virtual appliances.

The only problem with this is that some of the requirements are VMWare specific (not surprising) and can cause some minor problems for appliances designed to run on other virtualization systems like those we’re building at JumpBox. The issues are minor, mainly the requirement for SCSI disks and the VMWare tools, but if you want to build an appliance that also works under Parallels or Xen those are problems. At JumpBox our toolset will have to output a VMWare ESX specific image to fulfill the requirements. I’ll have more to report once we send an appliance through the certification process.