Setting up the Advanced Import Appliance

This guide describes how to download and configure the Advanced Import Appliance on an Ubuntu Linux Docker container host.

Contents

Before you begin

We strongly recommend that you create a dedicated Standard user account for imports. Configure the account to use an API token, rather than a password, and make sure the user has import permissions. For information about creating a new account, see Creating user accounts.

Configure a Docker host

We recommend that you start with an Ubuntu 16.04 LTS local machine.

The minimum hardware requirements to run the Advanced Import Appliance
  • 2 CPU cores
  • 4 GB RAM
  • 30 GB hard disk space

Be sure that the power settings do not allow the computer to automatically sleep. Sleep will interrupt the import process and leave partially completed import jobs stranded in your Skytap import queue.

To install Docker

Advanced Import Appliance has been tested on Ubuntu 16.04 LTS, using Docker v18.03 for Ubuntu.

Pull and run the Advanced Import Appliance Docker container

To pull the Advanced Import Appliance Docker container

From a terminal, type the following command:

docker pull skytap/advanced-import-appliance:latest

To run the Advanced Import Appliance Docker container

From the terminal, type the following command:

docker run -p [PORT]:3001 -v [PATH_TO_VMS]:/mnt/import_files -v [PATH_TO_SUPPORT_DIR]:/mnt/import_support skytap/advanced-import-appliance:latest

Where:
  • [PORT] – Local browser port on which the Advanced Import Appliance displays.
  • [PATH_TO_SUPPORT_DIR] – Directory to store Advanced Import Appliance settings and logs.
  • [PATH_TO_VMS] – Directory from which VMs will be imported.

    You can create subdirectories within [PATH_TO_VMS]. For example, if you want to organize VMs for import to different projects, you could create different project directories. You can then specify those subdirectories from within Advanced Import Appliance for different import jobs.

For example, the following command:

docker run -p 3001:3001 -v /srv/vms:/mnt/import_files -v /srv/skytap:/mnt/import_support skytap/advanced-import-appliance:latest

Configures Advanced Import Appliance to use:

  • The browser address: localhost:3001.
  • The VM scan directory: /srv/vms.
  • The working database and log directory: /srv/skytap.

Viewing and configuring the Advanced Import Appliance

Before you can use the Advanced Import Appliance to import VMs, connect to it from a browser, configure the settings, and optionally add a password for the Advanced Import Appliance administrator account.

  1. Open a web browser and browse to localhost:[PORT] (from the example above: localhost:3001). The Imports page displays with the message VMs cannot be imported until the import settings have been updated.

  2. Either click the import settings link in the message (or click Settings in the navigation bar) to display the Settings page.

Configure Advanced Import Appliance settings

Before you add or change Advanced Import Appliance settings, make sure you have the most recent verison.

  1. Under Application version, click Check for updates.
  2. If a newer version is available, pull and run the new version of the Advanced Import Appliance Docker container.

For the Advanced Import Appliance to import VMs into Skytap, you must provide credentials for a user account with import permissions and specify a source directory, from which VMs will be imported.

You must also designate the region where VMs will be imported and to what project (if any) they should be added.

  1. At the top of the page, click Settings.
  2. Enter the following settings:

    Field

    Description

    Skytap user name

    Enter the Skytap user name for the import user you created earlier (see Before you begin).

    API token

    Enter the API token for the import user you created earlier (see Before you begin).

    To find the API token, sign into Skytap with the credentials for the import user, and then click account (Go to your account) in the top toolbar of any page to display the account credentials and API token. See Finding your username and API security token.

    When the credentials are valid for an account with import permissions, credentials displays.

    Notes:

    • You can’t choose a region or a project until you provide API Credentials for a Skytap user with import permissions.
    • If your customer account is not configured to use API tokens, type the password for the import user account into the API token field. We strongly recommend that you enable API tokens for your account.

    Destination region

    Select a region to which to add the VMs. Only the regions that are available to the import user display.

    Add Imports to a default project

    (Optional)

    Select a project where the new environments should be created. Only the projects that are available to the import user display.

    Specify a Source Directory

    (Optional)

    If you created subdirectories within the import directory to organize different import jobs, type the path to the subdirectory. Otherwise, leave this field blank.

    Require user authentication

    (Optional)

    You can control access to the Advanced Import Appliance by configuring the admin account.

    Check the box next to Require user authentication, and then type a Password.

    Click Show input to display the password. Click Hide input to mask the password characters.

    Use FTP rather than SFTP for uploads

    (Optional)

    Check the box next to Use FTP rather than SFTP for uploads to use unsecure FTP for VM uploads.

    Though Skytap Cloud can accept transfers over FTP, SFTP is more secure and provides better protection against file corruption.

    Automatically scan for and upload VMs

    Check the box next to Automatically scan for and upload VMs to have the Advanced Import Appliance periodically scan the source directory for new import items.

    • Scan interval – Enter a value, and then choose Hours or Days to specify how often the Advanced Import Appliance checks for new import items.
  3. Click Save. The Advanced Import Appliance is now ready to process import jobs. To continue, see Importing VMs using the Advanced Import Appliance.

When you shut down the local computer that hosts the Advanced Import Appliance, all of the settings are preserved. Even if you remove the Advanced Import Appliance container, when you create a new instance of it with the same [PATH_TO_SUPPORT_DIR] and [PATH_TO_VMS] run command, the Advanced Import Appliance settings and status are preserved.