Prepare an image for import into the Rackspace Open Cloud

  • Last updated on: 2019-03-11
  • Authored by: Cloud Images

You can use the Cloud Images service to import custom virtual machine disk images into the Rackspace Open Cloud. In order for these images to boot correctly, prepare them according to the following requirements and instructions.

General requirements

Images must follow these general requirements:

  • The image must be a single file in the Virtual Hard Disk (VHD) file format.

    Note: A Cloud Files object, whether a Dynamic Large Object (DLO) or a Static Large Object (SLO), is considered to be a single file for this purpose.

  • Images must not expand to a system disk larger than 160 GB.

    Note: Images with system disks larger than 160 GB can be exported but cannot be imported into the Rackspace Open Cloud.

  • If you have exported an image from the Rackspace Open Cloud, it is already in the VHD format that is required for import.

Microsoft Windows

Microsoft product use rights do not allow the use of License Mobility for Windows licenses.

Note: Because of the limitations related to this software platform, import is not available for Windows images.

Prepare an image offline using XenServer

If you are preparing an image specifically for use in the Rackspace Open Cloud, we recommend that you prepare it offline by using a local installation of XenServer.

For instructions for preparing an image on Linux, see Create a server image for the Rackspace Open Cloud.

Prepare an image online in another cloud

If you already have a server in another cloud and you want to boot an instance of it in the Rackspace Open Cloud, we recommend that you make a copy of your server and make the necessary configuration and software changes in the other cloud before you export an image of that server. We recommend this approach because it’s much easier to work with a living server rather than to try to make offline modifications to a virtual machine image.

We suggest that you take the following steps:

  1. In the other cloud, create an image of the server that you want to bring over to the Rackspace Open Cloud.
  2. In the other cloud, boot a new server from the image that you just created.
  3. In the other cloud, make appropriate modifications to the new server so that it can work in the Rackspace Open Cloud.
  4. In the other cloud, create an image of the new server.
  5. In the other cloud, export the image that you just created.
  6. Offline, convert the image to the VHD format.
  7. Offline, upload the image to your Rackspace Cloud Files account in the region in which you want to boot your server.
  8. Using Rackspace Cloud Images, import the image into the Rackspace Open Cloud.
  9. In the Rackspace Open Cloud, boot a server from the imported image.

For a tutorial on this process, see Bootstrap your QCOW images for the Rackspace Public Cloud. This tutorial walks through the process of preparing a QEMU Copy on Write (QCOW) image and converting it to the VHD format so that it can be imported.

Use as an alternative method

For a simpler method of preparing an image for import into the Rackspace Open Cloud, consider using This method enables you to prepare an image from directly inside the Rackspace Open Cloud. For details, see the following posts from the Rackspace DevOps Blog:

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