Open Virtualization Format

Open Virtualization Format Specification (OVF). Which is a little talked about open standard developed for packaging and distributing virtual appliances (think cloud, SaaS and much more). It is developed by the Distributed Management Task Force (DMTF), which is a group of key figures from companies such as, IBM, VMware, NEC, Microsoft, Dell, Intel and more. Below are some of the high-level highlights taken from the latest release:

  • Optimized for distribution
  • Optimized for a simple, automated user experience
  • Supports both single VM and multiple-VM configurations
  • Portable VM packaging
  • Vendor and platform independent
  • Extensible
  • Localizable
  • Open standard
  • 1.1 included the following:

    • 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

    A good example of how OVF can be used is Zimbra which VMware acquired earlier this year. Here is a link to how you can test Zimbra using OVF.

    As well, check out VMware’s market place for other examples.

    Link to the official VMware OVF Tool User Guide.