Importing Power LPARs into Skytap

Skytap provides tools to help you export your on-premises Power A CPU architecture that supports IBM i, AIX, and Linux (on Power) in Skytap. LPARs to disk images that you can then import into Skytap environments. The toolset consists of a pair of scripts that you copy to an empty hard disk on the same LPAR that you want to import into Skytap. The scripts make disk images of the hard disks that you specify and then create an OVF file that contains an index of all the hard disk images. Then you use the Skytap VM Import tool to create a VM from the OVF file and disk images.




Things to consider when you export a Power LPAR:

  • Skytap supports IBM i, AIX, and several Linux distributions on Power. For a complete list, see Supported operating systems for Skytap VMs.
  • The combined file size of the LPAR hard disk image files must be less than 4 TB.
  • The export process creates full-sized disk image files(.img) for all of the hard disks that you specify. Because Skytap import for AIX VMs doesn’t support compressed files, each .img file is the full allocated size of the source hard disk—including empty space.
  • Though all of the hard disks that you specify will be imported, the order of the disks can vary.
  • Workloads on the LPAR should be at minimal activity. See Quiescing VM activity.

    Recommended for AIX: Deactivate the volume groups to be exported, using the varyoffvg command. For details, see the varyoffvg Command reference help.

  • The disk image files are created on a hard disk that you specify. Make sure you have enough space to store all of the disk image files that the Skytap tool creates.

    The amount of free space on the destination disk must be larger than the combined sizes of all of the disks that you will export.

Step 1: Export the LPAR

  1. On the LPAR you intend to export, make sure that /etc/security/limits contains the following settings:

         fsize = -1
         data = -1
         fsize = -1
  2. Prepare rootvg for export using alt_disk_copy. For details, see the alt_disk_copy Command reference help.
  3. Download the Skytap aix-export tool from GitHub:
  4. On the LPAR you want to import to Skytap, copy the scripts to the target disk where the disk images will be saved. Make sure the target disk has enough space to accommodate all of the hard disks that you plan to export.
  5. Create the export package with the following command:

    /export_lpar.ksh hdisk1 [hdisk2] … [hdiskn]

    If there are multiple hard disks, be sure to specify the bootable hard disk first. In the example above, hdisk1 is the bootable disk.

    Don’t include the hard disk where the export scripts are running. For example, if you copied the scripts to hdisk4, don’t include hdisk4 in the export_lpar.ksh command line.

    1. Disk image (.img) files are created for all of the hard disks that you specified in the command, in the same directory where you ran export_lpar.ksh.
    2. Then, export_lpar.ksh automatically creates <hostname>.ovf, which contains an index of the .img files that were exported by export_lpar.ksh.
    3. Optional: To reduce SFTP file transfer times when you import the LPAR into Skytap, you can combine <hostname>.ovf and its indexed .img files into a single, compressed .ova file with the following command:

      tar -cvf - <hostname>.ovf <hostname>-disk1.img [<hostname>-disk2.img] … [<hostname>-diskn.img] | gzip > <hostname>.ova

      The combined, uncompressed file size of the LPAR hard disk image files must be less than 4 TB. If the collection of files to be imported exceeds 4 TB, contact Skytap Support at to enable import of larger LPAR file sets.

Step 2: Create Import job

Create single import job for each LPAR that you want to upload. The import job will specify the .ovf and associated .img files or a single .ova (if you combined the files using tar).

To create an import job
  1. From the Navigation bar in Skytap, click Environments.
  2. Click the VM Imports tab.

    vm imnports

    The VM Imports tab notifies you if you don’t have permission to import VMs. If needed, work with your account administrator to gain access.

  3. Click Create VM Import Job (Create VM Import Job).
  4. Provide details about the import, including:

    • The Environment name (maximum 255 characters).
    • The Data source for the VMs. Choose FTP server.
    • The Destination region where the environment will be added.
    • Optional: An MD5 Hash Value. For more information, see Creating MD5 hash values for VM imports.

      VM Import Job Details

  5. Click Save Import Job.

Step 3: Upload VM files to the Skytap FTP server

  • Upload your VM files to the Skytap FTP server

    Use an SFTP client such as WinSCP to upload your VM files. Skytap provides you with the hostname, and temporary FTP account credentials for a Skytap FTP site.

    Upload import files to the upload directory.

    • Optional: Include an MD5 Hash Value. For more information, see Creating MD5 hash values for VM imports.

      Skytap SFTP Information


      • f you have a choice for transfer method, choose binary transfer.
      • Don't put compressed files in nested directories inside the /upload directory.
      • The temporary FTP account expires after 10 days.
      • You must use SFTP – Skytap doesn't support unsecured FTP connections.

      SFTP client

Step 4: Start the import process

When the SFTP upload is complete, click Create environment on the Skytap Import page. Skytap imports the VM file and create your new environment.

Skytap notifies you via email when the import completes. If the import is successful, Skytap provides a link to the new environment; if the import fails, Skytap provides an error message (see Resolving import errors).