Open Virtualization Format (OVF)

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Open Virtualization Format (OVF)

1. The name of the specification

DSP0243 Open Virtualization Format (OVF) V1.1.0 

2. A short statement (<100 words) of the purpose and function of the specification

The Open Virtualization Format (OVF) Specification describes an open, secure, portable, efficient and extensible format for the packaging and distribution of software to be run in virtual machines. The key properties of the format are as follows: 
  • Optimized for distribution – OVF supports content verification and integrity checking based on industry-standard public key infrastructure, and it provides a basic scheme for management of software licensing.
  • Optimized for a simple, automated user experience – OVF supports validation of the entire package and each virtual machine or metadata component of the OVF during the installation phases of the virtual machine (VM) lifecycle management process. It also packages with the package relevant user-readable descriptive information that a virtualization platform can use to streamline the installation experience.
  • Supports both single VM and multiple-VM configurations – OVF supports both standard single VM packages and packages containing complex, multi-tier services consisting of multiple interdependent VMs.
  • Portable VM packaging – OVF is virtualization platform neutral, while also enabling platform-specific enhancements to be captured. It supports the full range of virtual hard disk formats used for hypervisors today, and it is extensible, which will allow it to accommodate formats that may arise in the future. Virtual machine properties are captured concisely and accurately.
  • Vendor and platform independent- OVF does not rely on the use of a specific host platform, virtualization platform, or guest operating system.
  • Extensible – OVF is immediately useful — and extensible. It is designed to be extended as the industry moves forward with virtual appliance technology. It also supports and permits the encoding of vendor-specific metadata to support specific vertical markets.
  • Localizable – OVF supports user-visible descriptions in multiple locales, and it supports localization of the interactive processes during installation of an appliance. This capability allows a single packaged appliance to serve multiple market opportunities.

3. The version number (or other distinct identifier) and date of the most recently approved version of the specification.

DMTF Standards DSP0243 Version 1.1.0 January 12, 2010

4. If the specification is part of a group of explicitly related specifications from the same source, the name of the group of specifications.

Virtualization Management Initiative (VMAN)

5. URI for the normative text of the specification 


6. The name of the SDO that generated/authored/hosted the specification.

Distributed Management Task Force (DMTF)

7. URI for the SDO 	

8. The level of approval that the SDO has conferred on the specification as described by the SDO’s process.


9. The language or languages in which the specification is available.

US English 


10. Which of the categories of Cloud services does the standard address? (Infrastructure as a Service – IaaS, Data Storage as a Service – DaaS, Platform as a Service – PaaS, Software as a Service – SaaS)


11. Does the standard address both functional and management aspects of the service?

This standard is focused mainly on the distribution aspects of Virtual Machines and Virtual Appliances


12. The level of approval of the specification in this generic lifecycle taxonomy:

DMTF Standard

13. URI for the applicable SDO’s patent and copyright rules, if any, applicable to development and use of the specification. 

14. URI for the SDO’s posting location, (if any) for notices from participants or individuals regarding claims under the rules stated under number 15. 

15. Interoperability, conformance, or certification test activity for the specification.

Virtualization Management Forum	

16. Known implementations of the specification (by owner name or URI). 

17. A list (or URI pointer to same) of the other specifications* that are normatively referenced in the specification.	

18. A list (or URI pointer to same) of the other specifications* that are referenced in the specification (except the ones listed under number 17).

19. A list (or URI pointer to same) of other specifications* with which the specification may (speculatively) interoperate or act in complementary, compatible fashion.

20. A list (or URI pointer to same) of other specifications* similar to this specification. (Whether or not substitutable.)

‘Please identify whether this reference specification is within an SDO member organizations or not and its current level of approval.

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