Many of these terms/files serve multiple functions and are not to imply a 1-to-1 portability between vendors.   This comparison is to show the loose similarities.  The article focuses on business-level, server-based terms, meaning ESXi and filetypes may be different for Windows/Linux VMware Workstation hosts as well as Microsoft Virtual PC, Virtual Server, etc.


Hyper-v Vmware  
.VHD .VMDK Virtual hard disk, VMware: disk descriptor contains flat.vmdk (raw data) config
.AVHD .VMSN Snapshot, differencing file – VM state – VMware: see -DELTA.VMDK
.XML .VMSD Snapshot information – snapshot metadata
.XML .VMX VM  primary configuration file (1).  (Microsoft Virtual server uses the VMC filetype)
.VSV,  .BIN .VMEM  Saved state, memory, paging – Hyper-V: Additional .VSV and .BIN files are created for each running snapshot.  VMware: paging file.  Present when VM is running or has crashed
.VFD .FLP Virtual floppy disk
.VHD .OVF, .VMTX, .VMTD Template – VHD should be sysprepped to change SSID and MACs or scripts run to clone hardware into a new xml (4).  OVF may have a manifest, .MF file
Inf vib Driver files (2)




<diskname>-<###>.vmdk Redo-log file, created when a VM has snapshots.  Stores changes made to the virtual disk
.LOG virtual server activity for a single virtual server (3)
.VMSD Centralized file for storing snapshot metadata
.NVRAM BIOS for the VM
.LCK Lock Files – a running VM creates lck files to prevent consistency problems on virtual disks where multiple VMs might read and write to the disk.
.VMSS Suspended state file, stores state of a suspended VM
.VMTM Team data configuration file
.VMXF Supplemental configuration file for team VMs
.VSWP Swap File – 1. if exhausts all memory (= size of memory assigned – reservation) and 2. VM monitor swap
-FLAT.VMDK disk data file, the raw disk
-DELTA.VMDK Snapshot disk file for point in time rollback.  Differential file
-RDM.VMDK Raw device map file



Hyper-V specific

.DACPAC SQL Server data-tier applications (DACs)
.ZIP MSDeploy (Web Deploy) packages are zipped
.XML, .INF Answer files for OS images, sysprep
.CR Custom resources – this is a folder containing a custom resource package files
.OSD Open Software Description – describes software components, versions, and dependencies – used in Virtual application packages (app-v)