The Distributed Management Task Force (DMTF) released the finished version of the Open Virtualization Format (OVF). The OVF is a set of metadata tags that can be used to deploy virtual environment across multiple virtualization platforms.
Using OVF users can download a virtualized application and run it on the operating system on which it was developed. Since the OVF is not hypervisor dependent users can install it on the virtualizaton platform of their choice. Admins and other users can download the OVF packaged software and install it within their own virtual infrastructure instead of creating the virtualization platform on which the software was originally installed. By using this admins can get new applications into production faster.
OVF is actually a set of metadata that describes the virtualization container. This allows the virtualization platform to translate the machine into it’s own environment. While the practice of competing virtual platforms translating virtual machines to run on their platform is not new until now there has not been an open source application that would wholesale translate any virtual machine into any virtual environment. This is all accomplished by using the metadata standard developed for the OVF,
OVF can also be used to manage virtual machine installations. For example if machines are required to start in a certain order to allow for dependencies the OVF can handle this. You can find out more about the OVF here.