Open Virtualization Format
The standard describes an "open, secure, portable, efficient and extensible format for the packaging and distribution of software to be run in virtual machines". The OVF standard is not tied to any particular hypervisor or processor architecture. The unit of packaging and distribution is a so-called OVF Package which may contain one or more virtual systems each of which can be deployed to a virtual machine.
The DMTF subsequently released the OVF Specification V1.0.0 as a preliminary standard in September, 2008, and V1.1.0 in January, 2010. In January 2013, DMTF released the second version of the standard, OVF 2.0 which applies to emerging cloud use cases and provides important developments from OVF 1.0 including improved network configuration support and package encryption capabilities for safe delivery.
OVF 1.1 was adopted as an International Standard in August 2011 by the Joint Technical Committee 1 (JTC 1) of the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) and the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) .
An OVF package consists of several files placed in one directory. An OVF package always contains exactly one OVF descriptor (a file with extension .ovf). The OVF descriptor is an XML file which describes the packaged virtual machine; it contains the metadata for the OVF package, such as name, hardware requirements, references to the other files in the OVF package and human-readable descriptions. In addition to the OVF descriptor, the OVF package will typically contain one or more disk images, and optionally certificate files and other auxiliary files.
The entire directory can be distributed as an OVA package, which is a tar archive file with the OVF directory inside.
Industry support 
On average, OVF has been received positively. Several virtualization players in the industry have announced support for OVF, and there is at least one open source library for the format.
|Product||OVF Support Since||Release Date|
|VirtualBox||2.2.0 ||April 2009|
|Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization||2.2 ||March 2010|
|VMware||ESX 3.5, Workstation 6.5, Player 3.1 ||Dec 2007|
|IBM POWER server AIX, Linux z/VM, IBM Systems Director (via VMControl Enterprise Edition plug-in, a cross-platform VM manager) |
|IBM SmartCloud||IBM SmartCloud Enterprise 1.4||Oct 2011|
|OpenNode Cloud Platform||1.1 ||Nov 2010|
|Oracle VM||3.0 ||Aug 2011|
|SUSE Studio||Oct 2010|
See also 
- "DMTF Press Release on OVF submission 9/2007". Retrieved 2008-09-28.
- "DMTF Published Documents page". Archived from the original on 2008-07-03. Retrieved 2008-09-28.
- "INCITS 469-2010 Information Technology - Open Virtualization Format (OVF) Specification".
- "DMTF Gains International Recognition with Two ISO/IEC Standards". Retrieved 2013-02-04.
- "Open Virtualization Format Specification, V1.10". Retrieved 2012-03-16.
- "techtarget.com article about OVF, 9/2008". Retrieved 2008-09-28.
- "DMTF press release on VMAN Initiative, 9/2008". Retrieved 2008-09-28.
- "Fortisphere embraces OVF, 9/2008". Retrieved 2008-09-28.
- "Citrix Systems Unveils Project Kensho for Easy Creation of Hypervisor-Independent Application Workloads, 7/2008". Retrieved 2008-07-15.
- "Microsoft Responds to Citrix OVF Standard, 7/2008". Retrieved 2008-07-17.
- "IBM announces Open-OVF project, 8/2008". Retrieved 2008-09-28.
- "VirtualBox changelog". Retrieved 2009-04-13.
- "redhat.com | red-hat-announces-beta-availability-of-red-hat-enterprise-virtualization-2-2". Press.redhat.com. Retrieved 2011-12-09.
- "Open Virtualization Format (OVF) -Virtual Machines - Virtualization". Vmware.com. Retrieved 2011-12-09.
- "VMware Workstation 7.1 Release Notes". Vmware.com. Retrieved 2011-12-09.
- "IBM Redbooks | IBM Systems Director VMControl Implementation Guide on IBM Power Systems". Redbooks.ibm.com. 2011-04-06. Retrieved 2011-12-09.
- 5765-EMP IBM Systems Director VMControl Enterprise Edition for Power Systems, IBM United States Sales Manual Revised: April 13, 2010.
- "IBM Director v6.1.x". Publib.boulder.ibm.com. Retrieved 2011-12-09.
- Wu C F, Wang Y S, Liu G N, Amies, A, 2012, Create solutions on IBM SmartCloud Enterprise: Transfer image assets between different accounts IBM developerWorks, June 6.
- "What's new in Oracle VM 3.0".
- "SUSE Studio".