Conversion of UEFI Boot VMs to Amazon EC2

Commvault cross-vendor migration and replication supports VMs using the Unified Extensible Firmware Interface (UEFI) boot mode. UEFI is a firmware interface for computers that enables the use of larger boot disks formatted with GUID Partition Table (GPT) and secure boot functionality. Commvault can convert UEFI-enabled VMs to UEFI-enabled Amazon EC2 instances via a one-time VM Conversion, or ongoing periodic replication for the purposes of auto recovery.

Commvault supports the backup and recovery of UEFI-enabled Amazon EC2 instances.

Key Features

  • Migrates UEFI-enabled Virtual Machines (VMs) from VMWare, HyperV, Azure to UEFI-enabled Amazon EC2 instances using all 3 transport modes: EBS direct APIs, Commvault HotAdd, or Amazon VM Import/Export service.


    When there are no suitable Amazon Machine Images (AMIs) withUEFI boot mode enabled, and a matching operating system accessible to the images existing in the AWS account,Commvault creates one from an auto-selected BIOS boot mode-enabled AMI that matches other restore parameters.

Best Practices

  • Commvault recommends using Amazon EBS direct APIs for one-time and ongoing conversions for best price-performance of data management.

  • Commvault recommends using Commvault HotAdd when the converted instance needs production-like performance immediately on first boot. This requires an access node in the destination availability zone (AZ).

  • Commvault recommends Amazon VM Import/Export only when EBS direct API and Commvault HotAdd cannot be used. It is typically slower than EBS direct APIs or Commvault HotAdd.

Resources Created by Commvault During Conversion

Commvault conversion of an on-premises virtual machine will create multiple interim resources in the target AWS account. These resources will be identified by the following parameters:

  • The Interim resources naming format are as follows:Amazon EC2 tag ("Key: Name") instance name will be: "commvault-interim-instance-for-restore-job-<JobID>"

  • Amazon EC2 tag ("Key: Name") snapshot name will be (one per volume on source VM): "commvault-interim-snapshot-for-restore-job-<JobID>"

  • Amazon EBS tag (Key: Description) snapshot description: will be "Snapshot_created_by_Commvault_for_job_<JobID>_from_<ProxyClientName>_at_<TimeStamp>"

  • Amazon Machine Image (AMI) tag (Key: Name) AMI name: will be "commvault-interim-image-for-restore-job-<JobID>"

VM Conversion to UEFI-Boot Enable Amazon EC2 Image Creation Process

Commvault will perform the following during a conversion of a VM with UEFI-Boot (with or without secure boot enabled).

  1. Choose a legacy BIOS boot-mode AMI matching restore parameters other than boot-mode.

  2. Launch an interim instance from the chosenAMI, then shut it down.

  3. Create an Amazon EC2 snapshot of the interim instance’s EBS OS boot or root volume.

  4. Create an interimUEFI AMI with boot-mode = UEFI by providing the boot volume snapshot as input.

  5. Create the final Amazon EC2 instance from the UEFI-enabled AMI (created in step 4).

  6. Boot the Amazon EC2 instance.

  7. Shutdown the instance.

  8. Attach the Amazon EBS volumes.

  9. Destroy the interim BIOS AMI instance.

  10. Destroy the interim UEFI AMI instances.


The ec2:RegisterImage is used to create a new UEFI AMI during conversion. This action only supports the creation of Linux AMIs without interim instance creation. Both Windows-based restores and Linux-based restores create interim instances to work around the limitation with ec2:RegisterImage. The interim instance is created from an appropriately matched existing BIOS AMI.

Create a Linux AMI from a snapshot