VM Conversion Using the Import Method

You can convert VMware and Azure VMs to an Amazon EC2 instance using the AWS VM Import/Export method.


important: Conversions from a Hyper-V VM to an Amazon EC2 instance using the AWS VM Import/Export method sometimes fail. Instead, use the EBS Direct or the HotAdd method.


Windows Source VMs

The pagefile must be located on the C: drive.

Linux Source VMs

  • fstab entries must use UUID instead of the device name.

  • You cannot use a Linux access node for the AWS VM Import/Export method.

Disk Space Requirements

The OS disk must have at least 2 GB of free space for installing drivers and other software.


The access node VM must be able to connect to ec2.amazonaws.com. For more information, see Configuring a Firewall for an Access Node in the Cloud.

Configuring Source VMs for Import

When converting or replicating a VM to a nitro instance type, nitro drivers must be pre-installed on the guest. For more information, see Preparing the Source VM.

Operating Systems

For information about AWS's supported VM operating systems, see VM AWS Import/Export Requirements in the AWS documentation.

Operating systems can be imported to and exported from Amazon EC2. For more information about whether a Region is enabled by default, see "Available Regions" in the Amazon EC2 User Guide for Linux Instances in the AWS documentation.

Volume Types and File Systems

For information about AWS's supported volume types and file systems, see "Volume types and file systems" in Amazon EC2 User Guide in the AWS documentation.

Import Process

Commvault uses the following steps to convert a VM to an Amazon EC2 instance using the AWS VM Import method:

  1. Upload the virtual VM disks to Amazon S3 as pages.

    The naming convention for the temporary Amazon S3 bucket that holds the VHD files is gx-restore-region_name-account_id. You can override the default naming convention for Amazon S3 buckets by adding the AmazonBucketForImport entity setting to the VSA access node.

    The Amazon S3 pages are retained as integrity snapshots for the next incremental replication.

  2. Merge the Amazon S3 pages uploaded for each disk to form a single VHD.

  3. Import the OS disk as an AMI and import additional disks as snapshots.

  4. Launch an Amazon EC2 instance from the imported AMI and attach the additional disks (volumes) from the imported snapshots.

  5. Delete the AMI and snapshots from AWS and the merged VHDs from the Amazon S3 bucket.


If you are using the Import method when you perform a full instance restore operation for Amazon EC2, convert a VM to an Amazon EC2 instance, or replicate a VM to Amazon EC by using the Import method. Commvault creates an Amazon S3 bucket for the destination automatically. The bucket is named gx-restore-region_name-account_id, where region_name is the name of the AWS region and account_id is the AWS account for the hypervisor. By default, AWS enables server-side encryption on Amazon S3 buckets using Amazon S3 managed keys. To change the default server-side encryption on an Amazon S3 bucket that Commvault creates during an import restore, set the AWSS3ServerSideEncryptionMethod entity setting and the AWSS3ServerSideEncryptionKMSKeyId entity setting on the access node.

For instructions about adding entity settings to access nodes, see Adding a Setting for Servers and Server Groups.