VM standards, offline patching tools
Published Mar 21 2019 02:42 PM 622 Views
Brass Contributor
First published on TECHNET on Jul 16, 2008
Quick post here on two items.

Offline Virtual Machine Servicing Tool can be downloaded here . As blogged about at by the System Center team blog , Virtualization.info , and InfoWorld blog .

This product allows the update of large-scale deployments of virtual machines, leveraging PowerShell, System Center Virtual Machine Manager (SCVMM) 2007 and WSUS 3.0 (or Configuration Manager 2007). As Alessandro pointed out, "It just automates the VM power-on, updates deploying through virtual network access, and VM shutdown." You can use this Solution Accelerator to help you with business scenarios such as these:

  • Your IT organization is converting physical servers to virtual machines to reduce costs, including administrative overhead. How can you regularly update offline virtual machines while minimizing administrative costs?
  • Your IT organization has thousands of virtual machines stored for months at a time in a number of libraries. How do you keep the virtual machines reliably up to date?

Second, today Citrix issued an announcement about "Project Kensho", which is described as:

will deliver Open Virtual Machine Format (OVF) tools that, for the first time, allow independent software vendors (ISVs) and enterprise IT managers to easily create hypervisor-independent, portable enterprise application workloads.  These tools will allow application workloads to be imported and run across Citrix XenServer , Microsoft Windows Server 2008 Hyper-V and VMware ESX virtual environments

While you can read ComputerWorld's article or Alessandro's blog on the announcement, I think the most interesting perspective comes from Simon Crosby's June 27 post . Here's an excerpt from his post:

Kensho showcases our commitment to open standards based virtual infrastructure management using DMTF CIM based interfaces, and will in the not too distant future allow Microsoft System Center VMM to manage XenServer .   It also allows users to quickly and easily export their virtualized workloads to and import them from the new industry standard portable virtual machine format, OVF .   You'll be hearing much more about Kensho and its features in the near future.

The OVF standard, which I was fortunate to be able to help to develop  offers ISVs and enterprise IT staff a hypervisor-independent portable virtual machine format that packages a complete application workload with its  resource requirements, configuration and customization parameters, licebnsand signatures to facilitate appliance integrity and security checking, as an open standard. Virtualized data center workloads captured in OVF format can be installed and run on any DMTF compliant virtualization platform. OVF also supports software license checking for the enclosed VMs, and allows an installed VM to localize the applications it contains and optimize its performance for a given virtualization environment.At the DMTF interoperability event, we used Project Kensho to create VMs from VMware, Hyper-V & XenServer in the OVF format.  We also used Kensho to import and run OVF virtual appliances on XenServer and Hyper-V.  Kensho will  allow application vendors and IT users to produce virtual appliances once as "golden application templates", independent of the virtualization platform used to deploy them - and is a clear demonstration of how Citrix will add value to Hyper-V.

The Citrix news release says Kensho will be available as a download in September.

As for Microsoft, we support the OVF standards work, which isn't complete yet. There's no public schedule for when OVF will be supported in our products, such as Hyper-V or SCVMM, but it's on the board. It's great to see partners like Citrix doing converts for interop based on our DMTF standard interface. And we'll continue to work with Citrix, Novell and Sun on interoperability, in addition to making technology (like VHD image, Hypercall API) available via Open Specification Promise.

Patrick O'Rourke

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