Overview: Importing VMs, LPARs, and vApps into Skytap

Skytap has several options for importing preconfigured VMs, vApps, and LPARs into your Skytap account. With each import job, you can transform isolated VM and LPAR files or an entire vApp into a new Skytap virtual environment. During the import process, Skytap retains the operating system and application settings for each VM and LPAR; Skytap also retains the network settings for vApp imports.

Each import job is transformed into a new Skytap virtual environment. An import job can contain:

  • One or more VMs, LPARs, or vApps.
  • A mix of supported file types (OVA files, OVF packages, and VMX images, etc.)

Overview of the import process

Importing VMs is a multi-step process:

  1. Validate the import file(s)

    Check that your VM and/or LPAR files meet the Skytap import requirements (for file size, file type, etc.).

    You can do this manually, or for VMware VMs and vApps, you can use the Advanced Import Appliance to validate the files before you import them.

    For more information, see:

    To convert non-VMware-based VMs, see Converting non-VMware-based VMs for import.

  2. Transfer the files

    Upload or transfer the VM, vApp, and/or LPAR file(s) to Skytap

    This can be done in one of three ways:

    For more information about these options, see Overview of the import tools below.

  3. Process the import

    Skytap processes the import job and creates a Skytap virtual environment containing the VMs and/or LPARs.

    Learn more about what happens during this step.

Overview of the import tools

Skytap provides three import tools:

  • The VM Imports page in Skytap, which lets you manually manage basic import jobs.
  • A downloadable Advanced Import Appliance, which validates VM files and automates the process for importing multiple VMs.
  • The Advanced Import Service, which supports shipping VMs to Skytap for processing.

You can import VMs entirely through the self-service VM Imports page or Advanced Import Appliance, or you can mix and match tools for different stages of the import process. For example, you can validate your import files using the Advanced Import Appliance and then ship the VMs to Skytap using the Advanced Import Service.

The following table contains more information about each tool:



VM Imports tab in Skytap


Use this self-service option to manually create import jobs and manage the import process.

Best for:

  • Lightweight import files that have been manually validated (for example, a single VM)

To get started, access the Imports tab in the Environments section of your Skytap account.

For instructions, see Importing x86 VMs using the VM Imports page.

If you are a user, an administrator must give you permission to import VMs.

Advanced Import Appliance


Use this self-service tool to do one or more of the following:

  • Validate VM files before import
  • Create import jobs and streamline the upload process.
  • Automatically queue multiple import jobs.

Best for:

  • Multiple-VM and vApp imports
  • VMs with large virtual hard drives
  • Recurring VM imports

To get started, pull and run this Docker container on your local Docker host.

For more information, see Using the Advanced Import Appliance.

Advanced Import Service


Use this Skytap-assisted process to mail VMs and LPARs for import.

Best for:

  • Bulk import of VMs from an on-premises data center (where physical shipment is faster than network transfer)

The VMs must meet the Skytap import requirements before they are shipped to Skytap.

To get started, coordinate with your Skytap sales representative.

For more information, see Using the Advanced Import Service.