AWS Blog

VM Export Service For Amazon EC2

The AWS VM Import service gives you the ability to import virtual machines in a variety of formats into Amazon EC2, allowing you to easily migrate from your on-premises virtualization infrastructure to the AWS Cloud. Today we are adding the next element to this service. You now have the ability to export previously imported EC2 instances back to your on-premises environment.

You can initiate and manage the export with the latest version of the EC2 command line (API) tools. Download and install the tools, and then export the instance of your choice like this:

ec2-create-instance-export-task e vmware -b NAME-OF-S3-BUCKET INSTANCE-ID

Note that you need to specify the Instance ID and the name of an S3 bucket to store the exported virtual machine image.

You can monitor the export process using ec2-describe-export-tasks and you can cancel unfinished tasks using ec2-cancel-export-task.

Once the export task has completed you need only download the exported image to your local environment.

The service can export Windows Server 2003 (R2) and Windows Server 2008 EC2 instances to VMware ESX-compatible VMDK, Microsoft Hyper-V VHD or Citrix Xen VHD images. We plan to support additional operating systems, image formats and virtualization platforms in the future.

Let us know what you think, and what other features, platforms and operating systems you would like us to support.

— Jeff;