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Manageable virtual appliances

David Lutterkort (dlutter@redhat.com)

Virtual Appliances are a relatively new phenomenon, and expectations vary
widely on their use and precise benefits. This paper details some usage
models, how requirements vary depending on the environment the appliance
runs in, and the challenges connected to them. In particular, appliances
for the enterprise have to fit into already existing infrastructure and
work with existing sitewide services such as authentication, logging,
and backup.

Appliances can be most simply distributed and deployed as binary images;
this requires support in existing tools and a metadata format to describe
the images. A second approach, basing appliances entirely on a metadata
description that includes their setup and configuration, gives users the
control they need to manage appliances in their environment.