AWS Import/Export
Developer Guide (API Version 2014-12-18)

What Is AWS Import/Export?

Overview of AWS Import/Export

AWS Import/Export accelerates transferring large amounts of data between the AWS cloud and portable storage devices that you mail to us. AWS transfers data directly onto and off of your storage devices using Amazon’s high-speed internal network. Your data load typically begins the next business day after your storage device arrives at AWS. After the data export or import completes, we return your storage device. For large data sets, AWS Import/Export can be significantly faster than Internet transfer and more cost effective than upgrading your connectivity.

AWS Import/Export supports:

  • Import to Amazon S3

  • Export from Amazon S3

  • Import to Amazon EBS

  • Import to Amazon Glacier

AWS Import/Export does not currently support export from Amazon EBS or Amazon Glacier.


This guide assumes that you are an Amazon S3 user, an Amazon Glacier user, or an Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) user for Amazon EBS data. If that is not the case, go to the Amazon S3 Getting Started Guide, Amazon Glacier Developer Guide, or Amazon EC2 Getting Started Guide for Amazon EBS data.

Advantages to AWS Import/Export

Using AWS Import/Export provides the following major advantages:

  • Migrate Large Amounts of Data into the AWS Cloud—Mail us one or more storage devices with any amount of data. We load your data to the AWS cloud and return your storage device.
  • Content Distribution—We can export data from the AWS cloud onto one or more of your storage devices for delivery to your customers.
  • Direct Data Interchange—If you regularly receive content on portable storage devices from your business associates, you can have them send it directly to AWS for import into Amazon EBS, Amazon S3, or Amazon Glacier.
  • Off-Site Backup—Send full or incremental backups to Amazon S3 for reliable and redundant off-site storage.
  • Disaster Recovery—In the event you need to quickly retrieve a large backup stored in Amazon S3, use AWS Import/Export to transfer the data to a portable storage device and deliver it to your site.

Available Tools, Libraries, and Interfaces

AWS Import/Export provides a command line tool for creating import and export jobs, without writing any code. For applications requiring programming interface, AWS SDK provides Java, .NET and PHP libraries to create and manage import and export jobs. You can also optionally use the REST interface when working with AWS Import/Export.

There are also third party tools that support AWS Import/Export. For more information, go to