EC2 Migration and Monitoring

Migrating to EC2 and then monitoring it are key elements of AWS. Learn about them in this lesson.

EC2 migration

VM Import/Export is a tool for migrating VMware, Microsoft, XEN VMs to the Cloud. It can also be used to convert EC2 instances to VMware, Microsoft, or XEN VMs. Supported for:

  • Windows and Linux
  • VMware ESX VMDKs and (OVA images for export only)
  • Citrix XEN VHD
  • Microsoft Hyper-V VHD; it can only be used via the API or CLI (not the console).

Be sure to stop the VM before generating VMDK or VHD images.

AWS has a VM connector plugin for vCenter, which:

  • Allows migration of VMs to S3.
  • Then converts into an EC2 AMI.
  • Progress can be tracked in vCenter.


EC2 status checks are performed every minute, and each returns a pass or a fail status.

  • If all checks pass, the overall status of the instance is OK.
  • If one or more checks fail, the overall status is impaired.

System status checks (StatusCheckFailed_System) detect problems with your instances that require AWS involvement to repair.

Instance status checks (StatusCheckFailed_Instance) detect problems that require your involvement to repair.

Status checks are built into Amazon EC2, so they cannot be disabled or deleted. However, you can create or delete alarms that are triggered based on the result of the status checks. You can create Amazon CloudWatch alarms that monitor Amazon EC2 instances and automatically perform an action if the status check fails.

Actions can include:

  • Recovering the instance (only supported on specific instance types and can be used only with StatusCheckFailed_System).
  • Stopping the instance (only applicable to EBS-backed volumes).
  • Terminating the instance (cannot terminate if termination protection is enabled).
  • Rebooting the instance.

It is a best practice to use EC2 to reboot instances rather than the OS (create a CloudWatch record).

CloudWatch Monitoring frequency

  • Standard monitoring = 5 mins
  • Detailed monitoring = 1 min (chargeable)

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