Amazon’s VM Import: A Step Towards Cloud Interoperability

Amazon have just announced a new feature for Amazon AWS known as VM Import. What VM Import provides is the ability to import virtual machine images from existing corporate environments and run them on Amazon EC2. This then enables organisations to benefit from EC2’s pay per use, elastically scalable Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS).

Currently, VM Import supports VMWare VMDK images for Windows server 2008 SP2 with the plan to provide support for other operating systems and image formats in the near future. There are plans to make VM Import available from the VMWare vSphere console in the near future too.

What is exciting about this development from Amazon is not only the ability to potentially move existing infrastructure to Amazon EC2, but importantly in a format that is consistent with other cloud providers. A VMWare image can thus be used on EC2 or on any of the VMWare vSphere cloud providers, a list of which can be found here. This is a big step forward in ‘Cloud interoperability’.

One of the major concerns I hear raised every time I teach Learning Tree’s Cloud Computing course is that of vendor lock-in. VM Import now enables organisations to consider using EC2 without the concern of being locked-in to Amazon’s IaaS. In addition, the development of hybrid clouds just became a whole lot more straightforward too. If you would like to know more about Amazon EC2, Cloud computing in general and the way your organisation may benefit from it, why not enrol in the next class.


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