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Checking In with VirtualBox: OVF

Although Oracle is heavily focused on the business side of the recently announced acquisition of Sun Microsystems, the VirtualBox platform continues to receive updates. There are a lot of questions as to what will happen after Sun's acquisition is complete, such as what will the virtualization strategy be? Or who will be the steward of Java? One thing is for sure: Until the business end of things is complete, we really don't know anything.

I pipe up with content on VirtualBox from time to time because that is the product I use most on my notebook for virtualization needs, and I follow the product line closely. Even though the acquisition is underway, there have been three updates to VirtualBox recently. Here are some of the new features of version 2.2.4:

  • Fixes from the major 2.2.0 release
  • Bi-directional OVF support
  • Guest VM limit now at 16 GB
  • Mac OS X host support

The OVF support is a hidden jewel with the current version of the product. I'm a big fan of cross-virtual platform options, and with the OVF support we have options to work with other platforms and VirtualBox. Mainstream conversion tools such as PlateSpin Migrate and VMware Converter do not have VirtualBox support. Now with the OVF functionality, VMs can be imported or exported to OVF specifications. The export process provides eight fields for defining the OVF virtual machine. Simply having OVF is not a free pass between platforms; some work would need to occur to inject drivers.

VirtualBox can be a host on Windows, Intel Mac OS X, Linux and Solaris operating systems and is still free. More information on VirtualBox can be found on the Sun Web site.

Posted by Rick Vanover on 06/08/2009 at 12:47 PM


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