Open Data Center Alliance part 2: Virtual Machine Interoperability

Cameron Sturdevant Cameron Sturdevant is the executive editor of Enterprise Networking Planet. Prior to ENP, Cameron was technical analyst at PCWeek Labs, starting in 1997. Cameron finished up as the eWEEK Labs Technical Director in 2012. Before his extensive labs tenure Cameron paid his IT dues working in technical support and sales engineering at a software publishing firm . Cameron also spent two years with a database development firm, integrating applications with mainframe legacy programs. Cameron's areas of expertise include virtual and physical IT infrastructure, cloud computing, enterprise networking and mobility. In addition to reviews, Cameron has covered monolithic enterprise management systems throughout their lifecycles, providing the eWEEK reader with all-important history and context. Cameron takes special care in cultivating his IT manager contacts, to ensure that his analysis is grounded in real-world concern. Follow Cameron on Twitter at csturdevant, or reach him by email at
By Cameron Sturdevant  |  Posted 2011-06-09 Print this article Print

2011-06-09 ODCA vm mobility

Context diagram from the ODCA Virtual Machine interoperability guide.

The ODCA is using years-old work to help press the case for virtual machine interoperability. The basic idea is that VMs created on one hypervisor platform and/or running in a cloud provider data center should be able to move to another data center and/or to a different hypervisor platform.

The ODCA mentions the work of the DMTF (Distributed Management Task Force) and the OVF (Open Virtualization Format). I've followed the DMTF for years, and the group has a decent track record in terms of sticking to the work at hand, a valuable trait in an organization charged with herding cats.

The OVF was turned over to the DMTF in 2007 with the blessing of nearly every player with skin in the game; from VMware to Microsoft to Citrix and Red Hat. Now the the ODCA is also pushing OVF it's clear that this is the interoperable VM format to implement.

VMware and Citrix have been long time proponents of OVF, and shops that are using either of these platforms are likely well along in understanding how to use OVF in transporting virtual machines between platforms.

So while there is little to be contentious about in looking at the ODCA's tacit endorsement of OVF, the main thing to watch is if this acceptance give OVF a little more steam as organizations push for open data center standards.

Table of Contents for the Series:

1. IT Users Band Together: a brief introduction to the ODCA 2. Virtual Machine Interoperability 3. Carbon Footprint 4. Security Monitoring 5. Security Provider Assurance 6. Regulatory Framework 7. Standard Units of Measure for IaaS 8. Service Catalog 9. I/O Controls |

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