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Re: [Xen-API] Open Virtual Appliance preview

Hi Ewan,

I spent some time reading the spec this afternoon. Here's my initial reaction.

Overall, I'm rather keen on this concept. A format for describing a virtual machine such that it's easy to deploy as an appliance. I think what you've come up with is quite good as a first cut but I'm slightly concerned that it's a tad over specific. In general, I think this is bound to happen anytime you try to specify first before implementing and having users.

So before I get into specifics, what are the plans moving forward? I think if we approached this as a guideline and attempted to build a system for Xen that worked with these OVA packages, it would be a good way to validate the spec (which could then be finalized). Thoughts?

I'm a little confused as to whether the intention is to build images that will run on any hypervisor or that run on a specific hypervisor. If it is the later (which it seems to be), then what is the value in standardizing since there is no compatibility?

This brings me to the vbd description for Xen. device="sda1" is a concerning example as we shouldn't be using things other than xvd for paravirt domains. This brings up a practical question of whether these sort of things should be insulted from the developer to begin with? Thoughts?

I think the property system is a noble attempt at solving a pretty hard problem. However, I don't think it will be sufficient for very long. Users are going to want GUIs and I suspect that means we need to think a little harder about this problem.

The script stuff is a little odd. The script gets it's own VM? With Perl? Seriously? ;-)

The security stuff is interesting but I don't know enough about whether that will be acceptable to vendors. Have you gotten an initial reaction yet?

The rendevous section was a little odd too. I think it presupposes that each VM is going to have one network device (which is a bad assumption). Also, putting IPs in XenStore seems like a bad idea. There are so many ways to do network identification, why reinvent the wheel?

All-in-all, I'm quite impressed. I think there's a lot of potential here. Thanks for pulling this together!


Anthony Liguori

Ewan Mellor wrote:
Attached is a preview of the Open Virtual Appliance specification.  We've been
working on this for a little while now, and it's ready to open up to wider
discussion and collaboration.

The intention here is to produce a transport format for a Virtual Appliance --
a collection of virtual machines that together, from the customer's point of
view, provide a single useful facility.

This document has a restrictive licence and disclaimer, which we've put on
whilst it is being reviewed.  When released, the document and the
specification will have some form of free document licence, possibly the GNU
FDL, with no Invariant Sections, no Front-Cover Texts, and no Back-Cover

Your comments are more than welcome.


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