Importing / Moving on-premise (VMware) instances to OCI

By | February 22, 2019

OCI’s Native VMDK Import feature

It is of course important that you can easily move any of your on-premise workloads to the Cloud. The Oracle Cloud has specific features to help you with this task, like the native support for importing .VMDK files. A good starting point in the documentation is here:

If you do not like to read, you can watch this youtube video, that demonstrates how you can move a VMware Virtual Machine to OCI.


For more challenging environments, you can also use 3rd party tools to help you migrate your on-premise workloads. One of these tools is Rackware. Rackware supports OCI and allows you to migrate workloads, non-disruptive (no software needs to be installed inside the VMs) and most importantly with minimum cut-over windows. Rackware supports an intelligent disk synchronization method, so that you can sync your VMs while there are still running. Only when the syncs is almost complete (the delta small is), you can do the cut-over in a very short period of time.

Rackware is not just great for migrating (once) your workloads, but you can also build a great DR solution with it.

Check out an in-depth explanation and demonstration of Rackware with OCI:

More details

Lawrence Gabriel, a solution Architect from Oracle also wrote a detailed blog about importing VMware Virtual Machines to OCI. Check it out:


Besides running your imported Windows VMs in an emulated mode, where you are using an emulated IDE driver and Intel Pro 1000 nic, you can also now use para-virtualized drivers for windows 2008 or above.

7 thoughts on “Importing / Moving on-premise (VMware) instances to OCI

  1. Travis

    What about machines with multiple Hard Drives (VMDK’s) and ones that are larger than 300gb – Does the third party solutions make moving these possible?

  2. Macio Guedes

    how migurate os widows and linux vmdks´s whit atatches disk (1 4 TB) to oracle cloud oci ? I cant use Ravello, Solories or Rackware, It´s possible ?

    1. richard Post author

      I would attach a data disk to your instances on OCI and that do a normal file transfer from the on-premise VMs to OCI VMs with rsync or any other file copying program.

  3. satendra

    i have vmware virtual machine looking to move on Oracle Cloud…but in oracle cloud only vmdk is compatible how to resolve my vm disk in single vm.

    1. richard Post author

      Hi, not sure I understand the question. The VMDK file of your VM can be imported in OCI. If your VM has multiple disks, for any “data” disks, I would recommend copying it from inside. But is you do not want to do that you can also import the additional disks (if within side limit). and then attach them as additional disks to your vm.

      1. radha M

        Hi Richard,
        I have a similar use case, i want to import the additional disks and then attach them as additional disks to your vm.

        how can i acheve this?

        1. richard Post author

          There are 2 options:
          #1 Just manually create a 2nd disk for your OCI VM and then using some file sync software inside the OS to copy the data from on-prem to the OCI VM. Like rsync, ftp, etc

          #2 import the 2nd disk like you would normally do and also create a customer image from it. This will create a new boot disk. This boot disk can be attached as 2nd disk to your existing VM.


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