The new Amazon EC2 VM Import Connector is a virtual appliance (vApp) plug-in for VMware vCenter. Once installed, you can import virtual machines from your VMware vSphere infrastructure into Amazon EC2 using the GUI that you are already familiar with. This feature builds on top of the VM Import feature that I blogged about late last year.
The Connector stores separate AWS credentials for each vCenter user so that multiple users (each with separate AWS accounts) can use the same Connector. The account must be subscribed to EC2 in order to use the Connector.
You can download the Connector from the AWS Developer Tools page. You'll need to make sure that you have adequate disk space available, and you'll also need to verify that certain network ports are open (see the EC2 User Guide for more information). The Connector is shipped as an OVF template that you will deploy with your vSphere Client.
After you've installed and configured the Connector, you can import any virtual machine that needs the following requirements:
- Runs Windows Server 2008 SP2 (32 or 64 bit).
- Currently turned off.
- Uses a single virtual hard drive (multiple partitions are OK) no larger than one terabyte.
Importing is a simple matter of selecting a virtual machine and clicking on the Import to EC2 tab:
The import process can take a couple of hours, depending on the speed and utilization of your Internet connection. You can monitor the progress using the Tasks and Events tab of the vSphere Client.
As is always the case with AWS, we started out with a core feature (VM Import) and are now adding additional capabilities to it. Still on the drawing board (but getting closer every day) are additional features such as VM Export (create a virtual machine image from an EC2 instance or AMI), support for additional image formats and operating systems.