Ravello it’s a powerful IaaS platform with the ability to run your VMware/KVM development, test, training and demo environments in without any changes. They are using AWS and Google as an underlying IaaS platform to offer IaaS services (and more) over that with really interesting costs and flexibility.

You can build new VMs or simple import existing VM from your platform and run on Ravello. And you can have also nested virtualization for your labs!

Some days ago, I’ve wrote a post about this interesting solution, but I’ve not provide enough information on how import your data in this platform.

Actually you can use existing public blueprint or ISO, but you cannot find much for proprietary software like ESXi ISO or Microsoft VMs ready to run. Build a team sharing function for this object can help, but actually this function is not yet implemented.

So you have to import your files: entire VMs or simple ISO file… but in both cases you need to use the same VM Import Tool:


This tool is available in the Ravello interface, but require a program that must be installed (for Windows or Mac for the GUI version).

This program it’s a little tricky, not because it’s difficult to install, but just because it does not have a great user interface and it’s not always clear on what is really doing. Also I’ve got some minor issue with non administrative users, but using a Windows 7 OS works almost good (I’ve found the using a clear VM or a VDI virtual desktop it’s better to install and use it). There is also a service part that must run and you can verify it by typing the URL http://localhost:8881/hello in your local machine browser.

When it’s finally installed and working you can use it to import your ISO (this guide will provide more information in this case: How to Upload an ISO Image to Ravello).

You can also build a VM but composing the different files, but the most typical cases are just import an ISO and then build the VM in Ravello with the ISO attached (IMHO this is reasonable but quite difficult, considering that the console will be really unusable during the installation, especially for GUI based installer), or better import a complete VM (require more time in upload, but you save a lot of time after!

When you need to import an exiting VM you can have two option: have the VM files locally or on a NAS and then upload them (using a NAS share you may have some issue, because the import tool may not have the right privilege…) or connect directly to a vSphere infrastructure.

In this case you can point directly to your vCenter (works also with vCenter 6.0) and then browse your objects:


The GUI is quite different from the vCenter and you can only see the host & cluster inventory. But it works for all powered-off VM: I’ve used also to import a template (without convert it to a VM) or also a View linked clones and in both cased it works.

The main issue is that the progress bar may not work like with ISO or local files… I was thinking that the import was not working, but after some hours I’ve found the VMs on the Ravello platform.

Maybe the CLI VM Import Utility works better, but in this case the documentation need to be improved in order to give some simple example on how use it.

Andrea MauroAbout Andrea Mauro (2489 Posts)

Virtualization & Cloud Architect. VMUG IT Co-Founder and board member. VMware VMTN Moderator and vExpert (2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015). PernixPro 2014. Dell TechCenter Rockstar 2014. MVP 2014. Several certifications including: VCDX-DCV, VCP-DCV/DT/Cloud, VCAP-DCA/DCD/CIA/CID/DTA/DTD, MCSA, MCSE, MCITP, CCA, NPP.