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Move your VMware and KVM applications to the cloud without making any changes

Import Existing VM/VM Template on Ravello Service - Part 2

You are having your own data center running with VMWare and you want to move to Cloud, how do you manage this? Generally, we believe that it will be easy to import any VM to cloud if you have its exported image, but this is only true when you are using Ravello.

As you saw in the first article of this series, a virtual machine image is basically a set of files describing the machine volumes and metadata. Virtual machines can be in a variety of file formats, some common and well documented others less so. We also saw that how can you export an image from VMware using the OVF tool and VMWare vCenter Converter tool.

Ravello provides a powerful platform that allows you to upload your VMs to Ravello cloud without making any changes to exported images. When the VM image is uploaded it does not make any changes to the OS, application and configuration. The advantage of Ravello is that a user can easily migrate his Data center to Ravello Cloud because Ravello enables you to run your existing VMware or KVM workloads completely unmodified in any public cloud, for dev & test. Complex networking including static IP addresses, multiple subnets, and VLANs stays the same. No conversions or cloud migrations are required, thus ensuring your cloud-based dev & test environments are replicas of your on-premises production ones.

This article explains how to install the Ravello Import VM utility and use it effectively to import an image exported as described in the previous article.

Step 2: Upload an Exported VM to Ravello Service

Step 2.1: Install the VM Import Utility

Before you can upload existing Virtual Machines to Ravello service, you have to download and install Ravello VM Import Utility on your local system.

To download the VM Import Utility:

  1. Log in to Ravello, then create/open an Application and click Import VM.
  2. When prompted, click Download VM Import Utility.
  3. In the Download VM Import Utility dialog box, select the OS type (Windows/Linux/Mac) on which you want to install VM Import Utility.

    VM Import Utility is available in both GUI and CLI mode. Download and save the version that suits your requirements.

  4. Open folder where you have downloaded VM Import Utility, double-click the file and click Run to start the installation.
  5. The Setup wizard starts. Click Next.
  6. By default, Program Files is selected as the destination folder (change it if you want to install on a different location). Click Install.

    The Setup wizard shows the installation status.
  7. When the installation is complete, click Finish.
  8. Open a browser and enter http://localhost:8881/hello in the address bar to confirm successful installation of VM Import Utility.

Step 2.2: Import Virtual Machine to Ravello Service

After successfully installing VM Import Utility, you can import your existing VM to Ravello.

Note: As mentioned earlier in this document, the current version of Ravello does not support the uploading of snapshot files.

To import a VM to Ravello:

  1. Log in to Ravello, then create/open an application and click Import VM.
  2. A popup window appears, showing information and guidelines on importing VM files available in different formats and created by different tools. Click Next.

     

    Note: You can skip this page in the future by selecting the Don’t show me again checkbox. (This page was skipped in the VM Import Utility steps)

  3. The Cannot connect to the Import Utility page appears again, but this time the VM Import Utility is installed on your local system. Read and follow the instructions to Allow insecure content by your browser to manually Load unsafe script.
  4. Click the ‘Shield’ icon on your Browser’s top right corner, then click Load unsafe script.
  5. The web page is refreshed after loading the script. Click Import VM again to start the import VM process.
  6. When prompted, enter your Ravello Password, and click OK.

    The Import VM process starts connecting with VM Import Utility installed on your local system.

    The Import VM process can now access your local system drives. Browse for exported VM (*.VMX) files in your local system.
  7. We have already exported VM in two formats (Refer to: Step 1: How to Export Virtual Machine Files).

     

    (In our case, go to "E:RavelloOVF_ExportNEW_WIN_2K8_R2_x64_IMAGE" for virtual machine files exported as OVF Template.)
    OR
    (go to "E:RavelloVMX_VMDK_Files_ExportNEW_WIN_2K8_R2_x64_IMAGE" for virtual machine files exported using VMware vCenter Convertor Standalone)
    OR
    Select .VMX file and click Read.

  8. The Import VM process starts reading data from your local system
  9. The VM Import page appears where you can change VM Name and customize VM specs (CPU, Memory, Network, Disks, etc.). (In our case, we are not making any changes.) Click Import.
  10. You can see VM upload status under VM Library. (It might take some time to upload depending on your Internet speed/bandwidth and amount of data.)
  11. Once upload completes, you can see imported VM with White Background same as other existing VMs. You can start deploying new VMs using new imported VM.

Step 3: Use the Imported VM to Deploy New VM

You can deploy a new VM using an imported VM.

  1. Log in to Ravello, and select New Application from Ravello Applications page.
  2. In the New Application dialog box, set the Application Name and Description.
  3. In the Create application section, select From scratch, then click OK.

     

    Your application is created and a blank design workspace or canvas opens in a new tab automatically. The new tab is created with the application name.
    Now you can build a server under this application using imported template which is available under VM Library.

  4. Drag and drop your template (New_WIN_2K8_R2_x6664_IMAGE) to the canvas area.
    Template on Canvas
  5. Select the server and click Edit.
    Edit VM
  6. In the VM Editor, select General to enter the Name, Description and Hostnames. You can also customize VM specs (CPU, Memory, Network, Disks, etc.). (In our case, we are not doing any changes apart from Name.) Click OK.
    VM Editor
  7. As final step, you have to Publish this server. Click the Publish button. After publishing process completes, you can power on server and have to run Sysprep on server to generate unique SID)
    Publish VM
  8. Once the Publish process completes,the server is ready for use. You can access the server via RDP. RDP details are available in bottom right corner of page.
    RDP Details

The above steps complete the VM Import and verification process.
We have seen how easy it is to upload an existing image to Ravello and use it.

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