Converting to Amazon from VMware

When restoring a VMware virtual machine from backup, you can choose to restore the VM as an Amazon instance.

You can use this feature to migrate virtual machines to the AWS cloud.

You can perform VM conversions from streaming backups, from secondary copies, or from IntelliSnap backup copies. You cannot perform a conversion from a Snap copy.

Before You Begin

  • Create an Amazon hypervisor.
  • Back up the VMware virtual machine that you plan to convert.
  • The VSA proxy machine must be able to connect to ec2.amazonaws.com. To route communications through an HTTP or HTTPS proxy, see Configuring a Firewall for a VSA Proxy in the Cloud. To use an HTTPS proxy, you must provide authentication details.
  • You can use any VSA proxy to perform the conversion, either running on an Amazon instance or externally with connectivity into the Amazon account.
    • Using an Amazon proxy provides faster performance. By using a VSA proxy running on an Amazon instance, the restore operation can write directly to Elastic Block Storage (EBS) and inject Amazon drivers that are required for destination instances. You must provide credentials for the guest VM. The restore is performed using the HotAdd method.

      You can install Xen drivers on Linux guest VMs before performing a backup of a VMware VM that is used as the source for conversion or replication. This enables the required drivers to be in place when the Amazon instances are created, so that the Amazon instance can be started and users can access the instance.

    • Using an external proxy avoids the cost associated with running an Amazon instance. With an external proxy, you must select an S3 bucket for the restore. The restore is performed using the Import method.
  • On any VM that you want to import into an Amazon EC2 instance, you might need up to 2 GB of available disk space in the OS disk for installing drivers and other software.
  • See the following pages for information about Amazon considerations and limitations:
  • Operating system requirements:


  1. From the navigation pane, go to Solutions > Virtualization.

    The Hypervisors tab appears.

  2. On the Hypervisors tab, click the VMware hypervisor for the source VMs.

    The hypervisor details page appears. The VM groups area displays summary information for any existing VM groups.

  3. In the VM groups area, click Restore for the VM group that contains the virtual machine.
  4. In the Select restore type page, select Full virtual machine to restore one or more full virtual machines.
  5. In the Restore page, expand the tree on the left and select the objects to be restored on the right. Select an item or click on an entry in the Name column to browse within an item.

    In the top right corner of the page, a "Showing" message indicates what backup data is being displayed. You can click the down arrow beside this message and select any of the following options:

    • Show latest backups: Only display data for the most recent backups.
    • Show backups as of a specific date: Only display data up to the date you specify.
    • Show backups for a date range: Only display data within the data range you specify.
  6. In the Restore options dialog box, provide the requested information:
    1. From the Restore as list, select Amazon.
    2. From the Destination client list, select an Amazon hypervisor.
    3. From the Proxy client list, select the VSA proxy to be used for the restore. By default, the preferred VSA proxy for the hypervisor is used for the restore.
      • If you select a proxy running in Amazon, you must enter the guest VM credentials so that Amazon drivers can be injected for the restored VM.
      • If you select a proxy that is outside of Amazon, you must select a bucket from the Amazon buckets list. The restore uploads volume information to S3 and uses the volumes to create the instance.
    4. Only required if you chose a proxy that is not an Amazon instance: From the Amazon buckets list, select a bucket for the instance volumes. Buckets are logical containers that provide secure access to objects (such as instance volumes).
    5. Optional: Select Power on instance after restore (the default) to start the instance automatically.
    6. Optional: To delete an existing instance and replace it with the restored instance, select Overwrite instances if they already exist.
    7. If you are restoring multiple instances, click the All Instances tab on the bottom left to specify configuration values for all instances you are restoring, or the name of each instance to specify values individually. Specify the following values:
      • Optional: To change the names of all destination instances, select Enable edit destination instance name. Then select Prefix or Suffix and enter a string to be appended to the original display name to create new destination instance names.
      • Optional: To change the name of an individual instance, select the instance and then enter the new display name in the Change instance display name to box.

        If an existing instance with the same name exists on the destination host and you do not select Overwrite instances if they already exist, the restore job fails.

      • For the Availability zone, click Browse to select a value.
      • From the Instance type list, select an instance type that provides the available CPU cores and memory for the instance.
      • For the Network setting, click Browse to select an EC2 or a VPC network for the restored instances.
      • From the Security groups list, select a security group for the specified network.
      • Required if you chose an Amazon proxy: Select Specify guest credentials and then enter the guest VM credentials, including the Domain / Computer name, Username, and Password.
  7. Click Submit to run the restore job.


  • After VM conversion, if a source VM had dynamic disks that use spanned or striped volumes, the volumes in the converted VM might be marked as Failed in Disk Management. You must bring these disks online manually using Disk Management. To bring the disks back online, perform an Import Foreign Disks operation on the guest VM for the disk group that contains failed disks. As noted in Description of Disk Groups in Windows Disk Management, import the entire disk group in one operation rather than performing a partial import.
  • RAID partitioned volumes are not supported for conversion and import into Amazon.

    This consideration also applies to GPT-partitioned OS disks. (Operating system disks must use MBR-partitioned volumes.)

  • After you perform VM conversion or replication operations to Amazon using the HotAdd method, a Windows instance restarts when a user logs on to the instance for the first time. The restart is required to initialize drivers that are added to the instances during the operation.

Last modified: 11/22/2019 8:12:10 PM