OVF Open Virtualization Format
The DMTF’s Open Virtualization Format (OVF) standard provides the industry with a standard packaging format for software solutions based on virtual systems, solving critical business needs for software vendors and cloud computing service providers. OVF has been adopted and published by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) as ISO 17203.
The rapid adoption of virtual infrastructure has highlighted the need for a standard, portable metadata format for the distribution of virtual systems onto and between virtualization platforms. In the modern cloud computing era, OVF provides a platform independent, efficient, open and extensible packaging and distribution format that facilitates the mobility of virtual machines and gives customers platform independence.
An OVF package can be used:
- By an independent software vendor (ISV) to publish a software solution
- By a data center operator to transport a software solution from one data center to another
- By a customer to archive a software solution
- In any other use case that can be met by having a standardized package for a software solution
From the user's point of view, OVF is a packaging format for virtual appliances. Once installed, an OVF package adds to the user’s infrastructure a self-contained, self-consistent, software application that provides a particular service or services.
OVF takes advantage of the DMTF’s Common Information Model (CIM), where appropriate, to allow management software to clearly understand and easily map resource properties by using an open standard.