Citrix Systems has launched "Project Kensho," which 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.
As virtualisation becomes a mainstream component of enterprise IT
infrastructure, users need ways to automate and secure the lifecycle of
their application workloads without being tied to a single hypervisor
platform or virtual hard disk format.
By implementing the Distributed Management Task Force (DMTF) OVF standard,
Project Kensho will enable ISVs and enterprise IT staff to leverage a
hypervisor-independent portable virtual machine format that packages a
complete application workload as a secure, portable, pre-configured open
standard virtual appliance.
This will solve a multitude of interoperability issues between
virtualisation platforms while allowing automated provisioning and
management of applications, rather than just virtual machines. Users will be
able to easily install and use any OVF packaged application workload
regardless of which virtualisation platform they use – whether it be
XenServer, Hyper-V, or ESX.
"XenServer delivers the benefits of fast, free, ubiquitous and compatible
virtualisation, whether from Citrix, Microsoft or VMware," says Simon
Crosby, CTO of the Virtualisation and Management Division, Citrix Systems.
"Project Kensho highlights the Citrix commitment to interoperability for
virtualisation, while maximising price/performance and richness of features
at the virtual infrastructure level."
The OVF specification was originally co-authored by Citrix and VMware, with
contributions from Dell, HP, IBM and Microsoft. The companies then jointly
submitted the draft to the DMTF standardisation process.
Project Kensho will also enable customers to leverage the interoperability
benefits and compatibility between long-time partners Citrix and Microsoft
to extend the Microsoft platform. For example, XenServer is enhanced with
CIM-based management APIs to allow any DMTF-compliant management tool to
manage XenServer, including Microsoft System Center Virtual Machine Manager.
And, because the tools are based on a standards framework, customers are
ensured a rich ecosystem of options for virtualisation. In addition, because
of the open-standard format and special licensing features in OVF, customers
can seamlessly move their current virtualised workloads to either XenServer
or Hyper-V, enabling them to distribute virtual workloads to the platform of
choice while simultaneously ensuring compliance with the underlying
licensing requirements for each virtual appliance.
Project Kensho will support the vision of the Citrix Delivery Center product
family, helping customers transform static datacentres into dynamic
"delivery centres" for the best performance, security, cost savings and
business agility. The tools developed through Project Kensho will be easily
integrated into Citrix Workflow Studio based orchestrations, for example, to
provide an automated, environment for managing the import and export of
applications from any major virtualisation platform.