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New AWS Feature: Copy AMI

In my last post, I told you about moving an existing AMI to another region by exploiting the copy snapshot feature. On 13 March 2013, Amazon announced a new feature called Copy AMI:

Dear Amazon Web Services Customer,

We are excited to announce the immediate availability of a new feature: Amazon Machine Image (AMI) Copy. AMI Copy enables you to copy your AMIs across AWS regions, thus making it easier for you to leverage multiple AWS regions and accelerate your geographical expansion and help increase application performance and availability.

To use AMI Copy, simply select the AMI to be copied from within the AWS Management Console, choose the destination region, and start the copy. AMI Copy can also be accessed via the EC2 Command Line Interface or EC2 API as described in the EC2 User Guide. Once the copy is complete, the new AMI can be used to launch new EC2 instances in the destination region.

There are no additional charges for using AMI Copy, but you will be charged to transfer the AMI out of the source region and to store the copied AMI in the destination region.

We recently launched Amazon EBS Snapshot Copy, which enables you to copy EBS Snapshots across AWS regions, and last month we significantly lowered the cost of transferring data between AWS Regions (by 26% to 83%). Together with AMI Copy we hope that these updates make it easier for you to take advantage of the AWS global footprint.


The Amazon Web Services Team

Now I am going to show you how simple it is to perform:

  1. Select your AMI section under Images on the left side of the EC2 Dashboard:

  2. Right click on your AMI and select Copy

  3. Then select your destination region, give it a user-friendly name to help you quickly identify it and change anything in the description as needed. (Again, to help you quickly identify it)

    After a while, depending on your root volume activity/size (and other volumes that might be part of your image) it will show up in your new region and then you will deploy it as you would in the original region. Right click the AMI and select Launch:

    Now you do not need to worry about launching another instance, just so you can detach and swap out a root volume. This is a great new feature and I like the direction this is headed, as it will allow for true redundancy with AWS by allowing you to be in multiple regions easier and taking advantage of their global foot print.

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