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January 23, 2008


William Vambenepe

You may be expecting a bit too much from OVF. Even if all vendors fully support it, that won't give you VM portability. It is just a metadata wrapper around proprietary virtual disk formats. Sure it's helpful but it's not that big a deal. More on this topic at http://stage.vambenepe.com/archives/123

Chris Wolf

Hi William - OVF is about much more than the Utopian goal of interoperability across virtualization platforms. While I agree that differences in virtual hardware make full hypervisor interoperability impractical today, it's a long term goal that still has merit. That being said, the custom VM metadata capabilities of OVF are very promising today, effectively offering a standard "barcode" for VMs, in addition to including information such as service level requirements and licensing information. Several vendors have already committed to demonstrating their OVF capabilities at our upcoming Catalyst North America conference on June 25th in San Diego, and I would encourage you to attend.

You're right - OVF is not a magic interoperability bullet and my intent was never to position it as such. However, the framework provided by OVF has a great deal of potential. With vendors such as VMware, Citrix/XenSource, and Novell fully vested in OVF, I believe that in 2008 we'll start seeing some early returns on OVF, starting with the simplification of how we manage and track VMs across an enterprise.

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