VM Import for Amazon EC2

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Amazon has announced the immediate availability of VM Import for Amazon EC2. VM Import allows you to import existing virtual machine images to Amazon EC2 instances. At this time only, VMware VMDK images for Windows Server 2008 SP2 are supported. Support for additional operating systems and virtual machine image formats are coming, but Amazon has not released a timetable.

To get started, download the Amazon EC2 API tools, which now includes VM Import commands.

1. Run the ec2-import-instance command to create a new import instance task.
2. Run the ec2-upload-disk-image command to upload your disk image.
3. Run the ec2-describe-conversion-tasks command to monitor the import process.

An interesting use case is the use of VM Import for disaster recovery. Backup your existing images as EBS AMIs. Run them in the event of a data center outage. You pay for EBS storage costs and only pay for EC2 usage charges when you actually launch them.

You can read more about this new Amazon EC2 feature in the VM Import page.