Feeds

Virtualization standards becoming a reality

Virtual reality, oh ho ho

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

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. ®

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

More from The Register

next story
Preview redux: Microsoft ships new Windows 10 build with 7,000 changes
Latest bleeding-edge bits borrow Action Center from Windows Phone
Google opens Inbox – email for people too thick to handle email
Print this article out and give it to someone tech-y if you get stuck
Microsoft promises Windows 10 will mean two-factor auth for all
Sneak peek at security features Redmond's baking into new OS
UNIX greybeards threaten Debian fork over systemd plan
'Veteran Unix Admins' fear desktop emphasis is betraying open source
Entity Framework goes 'code first' as Microsoft pulls visual design tool
Visual Studio database diagramming's out the window
Google+ goes TITSUP. But WHO knew? How long? Anyone ... Hello ...
Wobbly Gmail, Contacts, Calendar on the other hand ...
DEATH by PowerPoint: Microsoft warns of 0-day attack hidden in slides
Might put out patch in update, might chuck it out sooner
Redmond top man Satya Nadella: 'Microsoft LOVES Linux'
Open-source 'love' fairly runneth over at cloud event
prev story

Whitepapers

Choosing cloud Backup services
Demystify how you can address your data protection needs in your small- to medium-sized business and select the best online backup service to meet your needs.
Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.