- Portable VM packaging -- OVF is virtualization platform neutral, supporting any open virtual hard disk formats. Virtual machine properties are captured using OVF metadata.
- Optimized for secure distribution -- OVF supports content verification and integrity checking based on industry standard public key infrastructure and provides a basic schema for management of software licensing.
- Simplified installation and deployment -- During installation, metadata in the OVF file can be used to validate the entire package and automatically determine whether the virtual appliance can be installed.
- Supports both single VM and multi-VM configurations -- OVF supports a single VM virtual appliance and packages that contain complex, multitiered services consisting of multiple interdependent virtual machines.
- Vendor and platform independent -- The OVF does not rely on the use of a specific host platform, virtualization platform, or guest operating system.
- Extensible -- OVF is immediately useful. It is designed to be extended as the industry moves forward with the virtual appliance technology. It also supports and permits the encoding of vendor-specific metadata to support specific vertical markets.
- Localizable -- Supports user visible descriptions in multiple locales and supports localization of the interactive processes during installation of a virtual appliance. This allows a single packaged virtual appliance to serve multiple market opportunities.
In addition to the standard, the DMTF VMAN site also offers a white paper to explain how OVF works.