Amazon yesterday announced that it now supports the option to import VMware Virtual Machines into it’s public cloud platform EC2 and/or its Virtual Private Cloud (VPC) platform. This news is closely related to the news about Microsoft which announced the possibility to upload VMs to Windows Azure, although the procedure to do that is much more complex.
For now, 32 and 64 bit machines running Windows Server 2008 are supported, and Amazon is planning on extending this to Windows Server 2003 and Windows Server 2008 R2. Also support for several Linux distributions including CentOS, Red Hat Enterprise Linux, and SUSE is expected.
The process can be initiated using the VM Import APIs or the command line tools provided by Amazon, before starting the process you must make sure that the VM is installed on-premise and that remote desktop access is enabled, and anti-virus and intrusion detection systems are disabled, those last two can be enabled again once running in EC2. The Amazon API tools are able to automatically transfer the image file, migrate the image and create the instance making the VM available as a Amazon EBS volume which can be attached to any running EC2 instance in the same availability zone.
In the future Amazon will provide a plugin for the VMware vSphere console, enabling the process from within the console. Amazon is now testing this functionality and is looking for test users.