This week the DMTF announced at VMworld that the Open Virtualization Format (OVF) became adopted as an ANSI standard. OVF was submitted as a draft to the DMTF just three short years ago and today is used by hundreds of vendors and products. What started out as a way to package and deploy virtual machines has evolved into a key building block for cloud interoperability.
It is a big deal for several reasons. First of all this may just be the first national standard for virtualization and cloud computing. Secondly customers buying virtulization software or IaaS cloud computing need to demand that their vendor support the spec, there is no excuse. Thirdly, there is broad industry support for the specification including VMware across its entire product line. And lastly as the US government under the leadership of Vivek Kundra is moving to cloud computing OVF could soon be a requirement for anyone that wants to offer cloud infrastructure services to any government agency.
Is OVF enough? No, but it is a great start. Other standards are in development. However, we can no longer say there are no standards for clouds and we can no longer say all standards take a long time to achieve adoption and improve interoperability.