You can add VM instances, custom images, or disks that are available in an existing environment, such as on-premises or on other cloud providers, to Compute Engine.
A variety of import methods are available that support different formats. Choosing an import method depends on whether you are importing a VM instance, disk, or image.
The following table summarizes the import methods available on Compute Engine.
|What you want to import||Procedure||Best used for|
|Virtual disks or images
||Importing virtual disks
||Importing virtual disks or template disks from an on-premises environment.
This method uses the images import command.
If you need to make advanced customizations or have source disks in a format that is not supported by the import command, you can manually import and configure disks.
|VM instances (in OVA or OVF format)||Importing virtual appliances||Importing virtual appliances. A virtual appliance is
a prepackaged virtual machine.
This method is best suited for importing a small number of virtual machines.
|Machine images||Creating a machine image from a virtual appliance||Importing machine images. A machine image is Compute Engine resource
that stores all the configuration, metadata, permissions, and data from one or
more disks required to create a VM instance.
This method is best suited for creating machine images from virtual appliances.
|VM instances||Getting started with Migrate for Compute Engine||