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Citrix Drives Adoption of Virtual Appliance Portability Standard for Enterprises and Clouds

Citrix Launches Project Kensho - A Toolkit for the Development of Portable Virtual Machine Appliances In Clouds

Citrix has released a technology preview of Project Kensho, its toolkit for the development and deployment of portable virtual machine appliances in enterprises and clouds. Project Kensho aims to offer a multi-hypervisor toolkit that leverages the Distributed Management Task Force (DMTF) Open Virtualization Format (OVF) to allow independent software vendors (ISVs) and enterprise IT managers to create hypervisor-independent, portable enterprise application workloads. As a result, virtualized application workloads can be packaged as a secure, portable, pre-configured open standard virtual appliance and be imported and run on Citrix XenServer, Microsoft Windows Server 2008 Hyper-V and VMware ESX virtual environments.

Project Kensho is released as open source software under the Lesser General Public License (LGPL) to accelerate adoption of the industry standard for portable packaging of applications and virtual machines (VMs), as well as management of virtual infrastructure. In addition, Citrix is working with virtual appliance packaging vendor rPath to extend Project Kensho so that users can seamlessly install and deploy DMTF OVF packages on popular IT Infrastructure clouds such as Amazon EC2. The collaboration will also allow Linux and Windows-based OVF appliances created on XenServer, Windows Server 2008 Hyper-V or Microsoft Hyper-V Server 2008 to be installed and run in the cloud and managed through their entire lifecycle.

“We are excited about the opportunities that a portable virtual machine and virtual appliance infrastructure offer our customers, ISV partners and the market at large. Today we can use Project Kensho to easily deploy portable OVF format virtual appliances on XenServer and Hyper-V. And we have also decided to release the core components of Project Kensho and our implementation of the DMTF System Virtualization, Partitioning and Clustering (SVPC) profiles for XenServer as open source software. Combined, we hope these actions will accelerate the adoption of OVF as an industry standard portable VM format,” said Simon Crosby, CTO, Virtualization and Management Division, Citrix Systems.

Project Kensho also enables customers to leverage the interoperability benefits and compatibility between long-time partners Citrix and Microsoft. As the tools are based on an industry standard schema, customers are ensured a rich ecosystem of options for virtualization. And because of the open-standard format and special licensing features in OVF, customers can move their current virtualized workloads to either XenServer or Windows Server 2008, enabling them to distribute virtual workloads to the platform of choice while simultaneously ensuring compliance with the underlying licensing requirements for each virtual appliance.

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