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March 2010, Vol. 20

What is the free VMware OVFTOOL and how can it help you?

Virtualization makes servers and applications completely portable, which in turn makes distributing virtual machines and their preinstalled applications simple. Taking advantage of this, VMware created the virtual appliance marketplace where thousands of VMs with applications (called virtual appliances) are available for download, most at no cost. Making these virtual appliances compatible with all of VMware's virtualization platforms, allowing you to distribute the appliances in a single file, and allow creators of appliances to customize the VMs for the end-users at the time of deployment, however, was lacking. This lead to the creation of the Open Virtualization Format (OVF). What is the OVF specification? For those who aren't familiar with it, the Open Virtualization Formation (OVF) standard/specification is an open standard created by VMware and a number of other companies. The specification was proposed to the DMTF (distributed management task force), a standards organization, and was made available as a DMTF specification...

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