Cloud // Infrastructure as a Service
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3/4/2011
10:34 PM
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Amazon Web Services Connects To VMWare's Management Platform

The plug-in make it possible to move a virtual machine from the data center to Amazon's Elastic Compute Cloud.

Amazon Web Services has released a plug-in that makes it possible for customers to import virtual machines from VMware's virtualization management software.

The plug-in for VMware vCenter imports VMs, or virtual machines, from a data center into Amazon's platform-as-a-service through the VM environment in vCenter, called vSphere. The general-purpose tool can provision and tear down VMs, while vCenter sits on top as the management console.

The benefit of the plug-in for VMware customers is that it allows them to do the migration within a familiar graphical user interface. Called the Connector, the plug-in stores separate AWS credentials for each vCenter user, so multiple IT workers, each with separate AWS accounts, can use the same Connector. The accounts have to be for Amazon's Elastic Compute Cloud, or EC2, which provide the platform for developers to run their applications in the cloud.

AWS is making the Connector available as a download through the Developer Tools page. Once installed, users can import any VM that runs Windows Server 2008 SP2, is currently turned off and uses a single virtual hard drive no larger than 1 TB, AWS says.

Importing a VM is "a simple matter of selecting a virtual machine and clicking on the import to EC2 tab," AWS said in the company's blog. The actual import process can take a couple of hours, depending on the speed of the Internet connection. The task can be monitored via the Tasks and Events tab of the vSphere client.

AWS plans to add other VM-related capabilities. Besides importing, AWS plans to provide the tools for exporting a VM from EC2 and support for additional image formats and operating systems.

AWS' decision to support VMware first with the Connector reflects the latter company's expanding toolset for organizations build private or public clouds, or a combination of both. In October, VMware released a new version of its virtualization management software that provided a new control point for creating different profiles of data center resource sets for different users.

Called "virtual data centers," the profiles are groupings of servers, network bandwidth and storage resources, VMware claims. One group might be oriented toward supporting Web servers, another Microsoft Exchange.

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