Good news on Virtual Machine Format Standard

A blog post from Ars Technica about a new standard for virtual machine format was welcome news today. Under the auspices of Distributed Management Task Force (DMTF) a working group representing big VM players like Dell, HP, IBM, Microsoft, VMware, and XenSource has agreed on Open Virtual Machine Format (OVF). To quote DMTF:

The proposed format, called the Open Virtual Machine Format (OVF), uses existing packaging tools to combine one or more virtual machines together with a standards-based XML wrapper, giving the virtualization platform a portable package containing all required installation and configuration parameters for the virtual machines. This allows any virtualization platform that implements the standard to correctly install and run the virtual machines.

It will be so useful being able to migrate VM images between platforms and different VM software packages. OVF even promises a discovery mode so that the running VM can detect platform-specific characteristics to optimise the execution of the VM.


About Michael Rees
Academic in IT interested in Web 2.0 and social media

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