Little more than a week back, Amazon Web Services announced a new tool called VM Import, which can be used to import virtual machines into Amazon EC2. It was a pretty good tool which will help organization move their VMware based workloads to Amazon cloud.
VM Import lets you bring existing VMware images (VMDK files) to Amazon EC2. You can import “system disks” containing bootable operating system images as well as data disks that are not meant to be booted.
You can start importing 32 and 64 bit Windows Server 2008 SP2 images right now (we support the Standard, Enterprise, and Datacenter editions). We are working to add support for other versions of Windows including Windows Server 2003 and Windows Server 2008 R2. We are also working on support for several Linux distributions including CentOS, RHEL, and SUSE. You can even import images into the Amazon Virtual Private Cloud (VPC).
Even though VMware has been offering a virtual machine converter which can convert Amazon Virtual machines to VMware format and there are ways to move VMs from EC2 into Eucalyptus, there was widespread criticism amongst Clouderati about Amazon’s support for one way movement of VMs. Even though some of these criticisms were unfair and some were coming from AWS competitors, there is no denying that we should have both import and export of virtual machines from a cloud. VM mobility/portability is key to avoid vendor lock-in. Clearly, Amazon should do more on this issue.
Looks like they are planning for it already. According to a report by Derrick Harris of Gigaom, Amazon will soon offer the export as an option in the “VM Import” tool. He points to new product homepage for VM Import tool.
The VM Import process currently supports VMware VMDK images for Windows Server 2008 SP2. We plan to import additional operating systems, versions and image formats in the future. In addition, we will enable exporting AmazonEC2 instances to common image formats. We also plan to make VM Import available via a plugin for VMware’s vSphere console in the coming months.
It will be interesting to see how Amazon implements this option. Since Amazon is eager to get enterprises on the cloud and based on their rapid pace of innovation around public clouds, I expect Amazon to do it right. Let us wait and see how Amazon amazes us in 2011.
- Importing VMware VMs to Amazon EC2 (rickvanover.wordpress.com)
- Amazon Moves VMware’s Virtual Machines to the Cloud (pcworld.com)
- VM Import – Bring Your VMware Images to The Cloud (aws.typepad.com)
- VMware on Amazon Web Services or How the Cloud Becomes a Data Fabric (readwriteweb.com)
- Amazon moves VMware’s virtual machines to the cloud (infoworld.com)