The Distributed Management Task Force has set up a forum to help develop standards and tools for improving interoperability in virtual environments.

The Virtualization Management Forum, or VMAN Forum, includes 20 vendors in the virtualization management industry that have committed to promoting interoperability between products that support VMAN standards. The VMAN Initiative, launched last year, is chartered with developing standards such as the Open Virtualization Format (OVF) for interoperable virtual computing environments.

The VMAN Forum, on the other hand, will be developing test tools for measuring conformance with the standards and will hold "plugfests" for vendors to test their products, according to the DMTF. The tools will help vendors prove that their products interoperate to the level proposed by standards also coming out of DMTF working groups. Vendors such as Cisco, Citrix, HP, IBM, Microsoft and VMware are among the forum's first members.

"DMTF is committed to enabling interoperable IT management solutions that use DMTF standards. The creation of the VMAN Forum demonstrates our continued efforts to extend this commitment to virtualised environments, helping vendors develop more robust, interoperable solutions for deploying and managing virtual appliances and environments," said Winston Bumpus, DMTF president.