Our pursuit of interoperability and portability for virtual infrastructure has pased a new milestone:  The Tech Preview of the free XenConvert 2.0 utility is now available for free download.  We’d love to get your feedback on its features. 

For starters, XenConvert 2.0 supports direct import of VMware VMDK virtual hard disks into XenServer, including all v2v operations.  It has also productized the Citrix Project Kensho implementation of the DMTF portable application packaging format, OVF (Open Virtual machine Format), which Citrix has helped to develop and standardize.  OVF virtual appliance packages will now directly import in to XenServer to instantiate a complex virtualized application stack, together with all of its relevant infrastructure resource requirements. 

XenConvert’s v2v capabilities mean that even VMware dependent OVFs will be able to be imported into XenServer, which in turn means zero switching cost to XenServer.   Since XenServer itself is also free, my guess is XenConvert 2.0 puts you well into the black on your next virtualization project.  Finally, any VM you import into VHD files for use by XenServer can also be used in our provisioning services engine (the artist formerly known as Citrix Provisioning Server for Data Centers) to allow you to dynamically stream a VM onto any hypervisor and even bare metal!

Here are some other nifty features that the XenConvert team have added :

    •  Offline conversion of VMware VMDK into OVF/VHD for future import into XenServer via XenConvert or Hyper-V via Project Kensho
    • P2V conversion of native workloads into OVF/VHD for direct or offline import into XenServer via XenConvert or Hyper-V via Project Kensho
    • XVA (XenServer internal runtime format) to OVF/VHD for direct or offline import into XenServer via XenConvert or Hyper-V via Project Kensho
    • Substantially improved import transfer time of OVF/VHD files into any XenServer SR
    • OVF Signing for security and to check that packages have not been tampered with since creation

XenConvert is rapidly becoming a vital component in our tool bag because it offers customers portability between virtualization platforms, native and clouds.  It offers the industry a powerful answer to proprietary virtualization solutions.  More cool features will be included when XenConvert 2.0 ships for real, likely within the next 90 days.  Give it a whirl and give us your feedback.