Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Virtual Machine Interoperability with Hyper-V and XenServer using OVF

Okay, I know this will sound a bit like marketing hype, but I hope to keep that to a dull roar.

For the past few months I have been involved with a virtual machine interoperability project called: "Project Kensho"

Project Kensho uses virtualization interoperability standards that are currently being developed by the DMTF (Distributed Management Task Force - the people who are bringing us lots of things such as CIM and DMI) to provide a framework for all of the virtualization vendors to use to talk the same language.

You can check the whole thing out here: won't see a bunch of screen shots, because I already did those (they are at the link above)

What does this mean to the administrator that is in the grind all day long?

You can take a VM and move it from one virtualization host to another.

You can export an entire enterprise application environment (some complex application that needs SQL, IIS, Active Directory - and those components must run on individual machines).

You can import items like these from other sources.

Here are some real world examples of what I use this for today:

Exporting a complex or large test environment.
I have an environment of 30 client virtual machines. I can export that to a package, sit on it, rebuild my hypervisor, import it back. I can also import those virtual machines to either XenServer or Hyper-V.
I also have an environment of 4 servers (the virtual disks are 36 Gb each) - but I can export and store and then import and use.

It actually ends up making my life a bit easier.

Go ahead, check it out.