Amazon Web Services (AWS) will help IT staff to move virtual machines to the AWS cloud with a new plugin for VMware's management platform.
The Amazon EC2 VM Import Connector is a plugin for VMware vCenter Server. It is based on Amazon VM Import, a feature that was announced last year and allows IT staff to move to a virtual machine image from their existing VMware environment to Amazon's Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2). The Connector lets them do it using an interface they are familiar with, AWS said a blog post.
From the interface, administrators can specify the amount of compute capacity they need and where in Amazon's cloud they want to run the image.
The time it takes to import a virtual machine depends on the size of the disk image and the network connection speed. The progress can be monitored from the tasks and events tab of the vSphere Client, according to the blog post. Once the virtual machine has been imported, it can be launched from Amazon's AWS Management Console.
There are some prerequisites for a move to work: the virtual machine must be in a stopped state, run on Windows Server 2008 SP2 and use a virtual hard drive no larger than one terabyte.
The Connector can be downloaded from the AWS Developer Tools site, and is shipped as an OVF (Open Virtualisation Format) template that can be deployed with the vSphere client. The OVF format is used to package and distribute virtual machines.
Amazon is working on adding more tools for moving virtual machines, including an export feature that will allow users to create a virtual machine from an EC2 instance and support for more operating systems. The features are "still on the drawing board (but getting closer every day)," the blog said.