Importing VMs using the VM Imports page

This guide describes how to import x86 The most common CPU architecture. x86 CPUs support Windows and Linux VMs in Skytap Cloud. and Power A CPU architecture that supports IBM i, AIX, and Linux (on Power) in Skytap Cloud. VMs with the import tool built into your Skytap account at Each import job supports up to 50 VMs and their associated networks.


Process overview

VM import process

To import VMs into Skytap
  1. Prepare and validate the VMs to make sure they meet the minimum import requirements.
  2. Use the VM Imports tab in Skytap to create an import job.
  3. Upload the VMs to the Skytap FTP server.
  4. Start the import process. Skytap processes the VMs and creates virtual environments in your Skytap account.

Your customer account can have a maximum, combined total of five import and export jobs running simultaneously.

Step 1: Prepare the VMs for import

The most common cause of import errors is an improperly formatted file. Before you begin, read Preparing VMs for import to learn the requirements to successfully import x86 VMs into Skytap.

Step 2: Create Import job

Create an import job for each VM file (OVA, VMX, OVF) that you want to upload.

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

    The VM Imports tab notifies you if you do not 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 file(s) to the Skytap FTP server

Upload the prepared VM files to the Skytap FTP server using an SFTP client (such as WinSCP). Skytap provides you with the hostname, and temporary FTP account credentials for a depot on the Skytap FTP server.

Upload import files to the upload directory.

Skytap SFTP Information


  • If 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.

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

SFTP client

Step 4: Start the import process

When the FTP 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).

When you import a UEFI VM, you must change the firmware boot mode to UEFI for the VM to start in Skytap. For instructions, see Boot Mode.

Additional information about the import process

import progress

Skytap creates a new environment from your VMs in three stages:

  • Analyzing – Skytap checks the SFTP upload folder for VM files, confirms the file type, and compares MD5 hash values (if applicable).
  • Importing – Skytap imports the VMs.
  • Finalizing – Skytap creates the virtual environment and any associated virtual networking. Whenever possible, Skytap retains the original networking information for VMs. If the original networking can’t be found or retained, Skytap creates one or more automatic networks for the new environment.

Optional steps once the import is complete


  • Imports can take between 30 minutes to several hours to complete.
  • If you are importing VMs on hardware version 6, 7, 8, or 9 into the EMEA, US-Central, US-East-2, DE-Frankfurt-I-1, CAN-Toronto, AUS-Sydney, or AU-Sydney-I-1 region, Skytap automatically upgrades the VM to hardware version 11 during the import process. For more information about hardware versions, see Checking VM hardware version.