Fun Diversion with a m1.small Migration

I am sure many people get a call from someone that they have known forever saying “Help”.  A good friend of mine called me up with just such a request.  They had a m1.small Amazon AWS instance (which is very old).

He was having trouble configuring the instance.  When I looked into what was going on, I realized that the server was 1 CPU, 1.7GB memory, and EBS with magnetic drives.  Egad!  On top of that it was running Windows 2008 Datacenter edition (x86).

Here is how we moved from an m1.small to a t2.medium and in the process saved them money on the instance cost.

1) Shutdown the m1.small EC2 instance.

2) Snapshot the volumes for backup and recovery purposes.

3) Create an AMI based on the original EC2 instance.  Make sure that we specific General Purpose (SSD) for the EBS storage.

4) Bring up the new EC2 instance based on the AMI using a t2.medium configuration.  We chose the default VPC configuration.

5) Login to the instance and perform the following software updates.

a) Update EC2Config service to the latest version.

b) Make sure Microsoft Update configuration was checked.

c) Windows Update, reboot, Windows Update, reboot, etc.

6) Create an new Elastic IP since the old server was using an ip address from EIP Classic pool and could not be placed with the new VPC configuration.

7) Associate the new EIP to the new EC2 server.

A few thoughts on this.

1) It took no time at all to do this.  For the most part we had migrated in a matter of 15 minutes.

2) We went from hardware that was at least 5 years years old (1 CPU, 1.7GB memory) to hardware that was current and significantly better in performance (2 CPU, 4GB memory) in a matter of minutes.

3) We reduced our costs on our instance by about .003 cents/hour (0.075 to 0.072).  Not much, but at least it wasn’t more.

4) While we did this manually, everything we did is easily scriptable.  We only migrated a single server.  Imagine a large enterprise customer needing to migrate hundreds of servers or desktops.  They could automate a large migration and have it done in no time.

This is definitely cool stuff.