Choosing an import method

You can add VM instances, custom images, or disks that are available in existing environment, such as on-premises or on other cloud providers, to Compute Engine.

A variety of 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 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 virtual appliance format) Importing OVF 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.
VM instances VM migration with Velostrata
  • Importing multiple VM instances and their data.
  • Migrating VM instances from other cloud providers such as VMWare and AWS.
  • Testing your applications in the cloud before you migrate. If your applications do not function properly, you can easily roll back.
This method is the most ideal for moving a large number of workloads. With Velostrata, a suite of features is available which helps to automate, simplify, and accelerate the migration process. For more details, review the Velostrata product overview.
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Compute Engine Documentation