Officially announced in September 2007, the Open Virtualization Format (OVF) is a format to package one or more virtual machines together with a with a standards-based XML wrapper that contains the metadata necessary to correctly install and configure the virtual hard drives of each VM.
OVF reached 1.0 status in March 2009, and 1.1 status in March 2010.
A number of leading industry players contributed to it, including: Citrix, Dell, IBM, Microsoft, NEC, Sun, Symantec and VMware.
The format is currently supported by Citrix, IBM, Oracle, Red Hat and VMware virtual infrastructures, plus by a number of infrastructure management vendors.
At the of August the Distributed Management Task Force (DMTF) announced that the OVF specification 1.1 has been ratified as by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) as a standard.
The ANSI code for OVF 1.1 is ANSI INCITS 469 2010.
The next step for the DMTF will be turning OVF into an international standard by submitting it to the International Standards Organization/International Electrotechnical Commission (ISO/IEC).