In October 2008 the Distributed Management Task Force (DMTF) announced that the virtualization standard known as OVF (Open Virtualization Format) reached the Preliminary Standard status.
It took another six months to finally call it a Final Standard, as announced one week ago.
It’s important to remind that OVF doesn’t replace the proprietary virtual hard disk formats like VHD (used by Microsoft, Citrix, Virtual Iron and Novell), VMDK (used by VMware) or QCOW, but rather works as a wrapper, containing the metadata necessary to correctly install and configure the virtual hard drives of one or more virtual machines.
The OVF standard is the first, major step to have better virtual appliances, a concept that so far failed to take off, plagued by multiple issues.
And because the next generation of virtual appliances will be a building block for what we are calling today cloud computing, the release of OVF today couldn’t be more timely for the industry.
The OVF standard is also the first component of a much broader set of standards called VMAN.
The VMAN initiative was originally announced in November 2007, as an effort to grant seamless management of heterogeneous virtual infrastructures.
VMware, Citrix, Novell, Sun, IBM, ManageIQ and other vendors are working to support it.
The importance of VMAN is enormous.
At the Virtualization Congress 2009, the virtualization.info’s conference that will take place in Las Vegas in one month or so (May 4-7 @ MGM Grand), we’ll have not one but two session about the topic, presented by two leading figures of the DMTF:
- Winston Bumpus, President of DMTF (and Director of Standards Architecture at VMware), who will present the session titled:
Simplifying Virtualization Management Using New Industry Standards
- Abolfazl Sirjani, Co-chair of the DMTF Virtualization Management Committee (and Senior Director in the Advanced Products Group at Citrix), who will present the session titled:
My Cloud or Yours – The importance of standards-based virtual infrastructure management
The first one will put a stress on the strategy behind VMAN and the support that the industry is giving, the second will be really practical, showing on stage real-world examples of the VMAN implementations that we have today.