Feeds

Virtualization standards becoming a reality

Virtual reality, oh ho ho

The Power of One Brief: Top reasons to choose HP BladeSystem

As the virtualization market continues to expand, concerns over incompatibility between virtual machines from VMware, XenSource and Microsoft are unsurprisingly growing with it.

That's why several key players in the industry are collaborating to help stamp out yet another proprietary hydra, before it reaches an apex of hopelessly incongruous formats seen throughout the tech industry.

Under the banner of the Distributed Management Task Force, new specifications created by Dell, HP, IBM, Microsoft, VMware and XenSource hope to become an industry standard.

With the opening of VMworld in San Francisco, the group announced the acceptance of a draft specification the DMTF will develop and promote worldwide.

The proposed Open Virtual Machine Format (OVF) doesn't aim to replace the three existing formats, but instead ties them together in a standards-based XML package that contains all the necessary installation and configuration parameters. This, in theory, will allow any virtualization platform (that implements the standard) to run the virtual machines.

"With the increasing demand for virtualization in enterprise management, the new spec developed through this industry-wide collaboration dovetails nicely into existing virtualization management standardization activity within the DMTF," said Winston Bumpus, DMTF president, in a statement.

OVF will set some safeguards as well. The format will permit integrity checking of the VMs to ensure they have not been tampered with since the package was produced. DMTF said this will alleviate security concerns of users who adopt virtual appliances produced by third parties. OVF will also support licence checking for the enclosed VMs.

The organization hasn't provided a timeline for adopting the format — and more importantly, neither has VMware, XenSource and Microsoft. Each has expressed their support for the format, however.

Hopefully the crew can get their act together sooner rather than later and make migration from one brand of virtual machine to the other a little bit easier. ®

The Essential Guide to IT Transformation

More from The Register

next story
Secure microkernel that uses maths to be 'bug free' goes open source
Hacker-repelling, drone-protecting code will soon be yours to tweak as you see fit
KDE releases ice-cream coloured Plasma 5 just in time for summer
Melty but refreshing - popular rival to Mint's Cinnamon's still a work in progress
NO MORE ALL CAPS and other pleasures of Visual Studio 14
Unpicking a packed preview that breaks down ASP.NET
Cheer up, Nokia fans. It can start making mobes again in 18 months
The real winner of the Nokia sale is *drumroll* ... Nokia
Put down that Oracle database patch: It could cost $23,000 per CPU
On-by-default INMEMORY tech a boon for developers ... as long as they can afford it
Another day, another Firefox: Version 31 is upon us ALREADY
Web devs, Mozilla really wants you to like this one
Google shows off new Chrome OS look
Athena springs full-grown from Chromium project's head
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Application security programs and practises
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Securing Web Applications Made Simple and Scalable
Learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.