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Open Virtualization Format

Open Virtualization Format

(also OVF)

Open Virtualization Format definition

Open Virtualization Format is a standard for packaging and distributing software that runs in virtual machines. The standard is developed by the Distributed Management Task Force. It’s an organization that develops standards for enterprise and cloud systems management.

See also: host virtual machine, virtual machine migration

Key features of the Open Virtualization Format:

  • Packaging. OVF enables the packaging of virtual machines into a single package. This package can be transported and imported into another virtualization platform.
  • Portability. The goal of OVF is to enable you to package a virtual machine on one platform and deploy it on another., even if they are from different vendors.
  • Content. An OVF package contains files, with the main file being the OVF descriptor. The descriptor is an XML file that describes the metadata of the package.
  • Extensions. The OVF standard allows for extensibility. Vendors can add specific extensions to the OVF descriptor.
  • Versioning & licensing. OVF supports versioning and also has provisions to include licensing information within the package.

Further reading

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