Amazon Web Services is getting ready to retire one of its oldest cloud computing services

AWS customers that with old EC2-Classic resources still powering apps need to review their accounts now.
Written by Liam Tung, Contributing Writer

In coming months Amazon Web Services (AWS) will shut one of its oldest cloud computing infrastructure services, EC2-Classic, and is warning remaining users to move off the service to avoid application downtime. 

"EC2-Classic has served us well, but we're going to give it a gold watch and a well-deserved sendoff," writes AWS evangelist Jeff Barr.

EC2-Classic arrived with original release of Amazon EC2 but it was not supported for accounts created after April 2013, at which point it required users to launch EC2 instances in a virtual private cloud (VPC) -- a logically-separated section AWS.

With EC2-Classic, instances run in a single, flat network that is shared with other customers. EC2-Classic required public IP addresses made available at the time, or tunneling, to communicate with AWS resources in a VPC.

There are some deadlines coming up for any business still on EC2-Classic, but Barr says the process will be gradual.

"Rest assured that we are going to make this as smooth and as non-disruptive as possible. We are not planning to disrupt any workloads and we are giving you plenty of lead time so that you can plan, test, and perform your migration," he notes. 

Key dates to keep in mind are October 30, 2021, and August 15, 2022. 

On October 30, AWS will disable EC2-Classic in Regions for AWS accounts that have no active EC2-Classic resources in the region. On that date, AWS won't sell 1-year and 3-year Reserved Instances for EC2-Classic. 

By August 15, 2022, AWS reckons all migrations will be done and that all EC2-Classic resources will have been extinguished from AWS accounts.

Key AWS resources that EC2-Classic customers will need to keep an eye on include: 

  • Running or stopped EC2 instances
  • Running or stopped RDS database instances.
  • Elastic IP addresses
  • Classic Load Balancers
  • Redshift clusters
  • Elastic Beanstalk environments
  • EMR clusters 
  • AWS Data Pipelines pipelines 
  • ElastiCache clusters
  • Reserved Instances
  • Spot Requests.
  • Capacity Reservations.

It could be tricky finding all services dependent on EC2-Class resources, so AWS has released the EC2 Classic Resource Finder script to help locate EC2-Classic resources in an account.

It's also offering the AWS Application Manager Service (AWS MGN) to help customers migrate instances and databases from EC2-Classic to VPC.

EC2-Classic customers should note that disabling it in a region is meant to be a "one-way door", but Barr says users can contact AWS Support if they need to re-enable EC2-Classic for a region.

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