Log Insight: Missing OVF Properties

As you probably know, the Log Insight virtual appliance relies on OVF properties to handle some amount of configuration. OVF properties are powerful in that they can be set at deploy time, changed at a later time, and can be used instead of relying on a CLI or needing to write a UI on top of a CLI. With that said, OVF properties have two significant limitations:

  1. They require vSphere — not an issue for Log Insight as it is only available as a virtual appliance
  2. They can go missing

The issue of missing OVF properties is what I would like to cover in this post. Read on to learn more!

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Open Virtualization Format (OVF)

I have been meaning to blog about the Open Virtualization Format (OVF) for sometime now. OVF is a VM packaging standard that was created by VMware. OVF is not supported on all VMare products. One such product that does not support the feature is VMware Fusion. This means by default, VMware Fusion is not capable of importing or running VMs in OVF. I am not sure how VMware expects others to adopt OVF when they do not support it on all of their own products. If Fusion or OVF were new and integration was complex I may understand the rationale behind the lack of support. However, OVF is neither new or complex. As such, it not being supported by Fusion is restricting OVF’s adoption.

The good news is, someone has figured out how to get an OVF VM running on Fusion (and Duncan has now blogged about this at:http://www.yellow-bricks.com/2011/02/26/converting-open-virtualization-format-ovf-virtual-machines-to-vmware-fusion/). However, this is only good news for users who need to run a VM in OVF on Fusion. The fact that the VMware community is able to solve this relatively simple issue and yet Fusion has not yet incorporated the functionality is another slap in the face to OVF. I am personally a fan of OVF so VMware please incorporate it into all of your products!