Amazon Web Services says customers can now import Windows Server 2012 virtual-machine images to Amazon EC2 instances, and export them back to on-premise environments.
Moving virtual-machine images using Amazon's import-export feature can speed up and simplify cloud migrations or serve as part of disaster-recovery measures, the company said.
AWS chief evangelist Jeff Barr said importing and exporting virtual-machine images could be carried out using EC2 API tools.
"However, you can use the Amazon EC2 VM Import Connector for VMware vCenter if you use VMware," Barr said in a blog.
At last month's European launch of its vCloud Hybrid Service (vCHS), virtualisation specialist VMware played up what it described as firms' disinclination to move existing on-premise virtualised infrastructure to AWS, the current IaaS market leader.
"It's very, very different. We see AWS as a platform that organisations tend to want to [use to] deploy born-in-the-cloud applications, critically that have no interdependency or connection back to legacy applications," said Bill Fathers, general manager of VMware's hybrid cloud services business unit.
"We are on the other end of the spectrum, ideal for applications that are already deployed on our own technologies and for new applications that seamlessly need to gain access to existing legacy applications."
AWS said it will be looking to make Windows Server 2012 R2 available via the VM import-export feature in the near future based on customer feedback.
For imported images, AWS will provide the relevant Microsoft Windows Server licence key, Amazon's Barr said.
"Your on-premises key will not be used in the cloud, and you are free to use it for other Windows Server images that are still running in your on-premises environment."
As well as Windows Server 2012 support, AWS says it has improved VM Import's process for importing Windows Server 2003 and Windows 2008 images.
Amazon EC2 instances created from Windows virtual machines will also now have EC2Config installed by default, along with the latest Citrix PV drivers.
AWS virtual-machine import and export already exists for Windows Server 2003 R2, Windows Server 2008 R2, Red Hat Enterprise Linux, CentOS, Ubuntu, and Debian images.
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