Exporting Amazon EC2 instances into OpenStack

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I had a requirement to get some workloads running on EC2 (which I’m a huge fan of, I just hate the vendor lock-in) imported into OpenStack.

Tools to help you get anything out of AWS are almost non-existent. I did try ec2-create-instance-export-task from AWS API tools but this has so many hurdles to jump through that it became slightly farcical. In the end it wouldn’t let me export the image because it wasn’t an imported image in the first place. Hmmm.

Despite what the general consensus online, this turns out to be fairly straightforward. The problem appears to come if you’ve used Amazon Linux AMI’s with their custom kernel. Thankfully, these were Ubuntu 16.04 images.

Step 1. Boot an instance from your AMI. Use SSD and a decent instance size if you’re feeling flush and in a hurry.

Step 2. Snapshot the instance and attach that snapshot to the running instance

Step 3. On your OpenStack environment, dd the attached disk, gzip and pipe over an ssh tunnel because, y’know Amazon egress charges. E.g.:

ssh -i chris.pem ubuntu@my.amazon.v4.ip “sudo dd if=/dev/xvdf | gzip -1 -” | dd of=image.gz

Step 4. Unzip the image, upload it to OpenStack and boot it.

Step 5 (For those with Amazon kernels). Fudge around replacing the Amazon kernel with something close to the same version. YMMV.

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