Replicate VMs using the AWS SMS console - AWS Server Migration Service

Replicate VMs using the AWS SMS console

You can use the AWS SMS console to import your server catalog and migrate your on-premises servers to Amazon EC2. For directions using the AWS Command Line Interface (AWS CLI), see Replicate VMs using AWS CLI commands for AWS SMS.


  • You can replicate your on-premises servers to AWS for up to 90 days per server. Usage time is calculated from the time a server replication begins until you terminate the replication job. After 90 days, your replication job is automatically terminated. You can request an extension from AWS Support.

  • If you have enabled integration between AWS SMS and AWS Migration Hub, your SMS server catalog is also visible on Migration Hub. For more information, see Import applications from Migration Hub.

  • During the replication process, AWS SMS creates an Amazon S3 bucket in the Region on your behalf, with server-side encryption enabled and a bucket policy to delete any items in the bucket after seven days. AWS SMS replicates server volumes from your environment to this bucket and then creates EBS snapshots from the volumes. If you do not delete this bucket, AWS SMS uses it for all replication jobs in this Region.

  • During the AMI creation process, AWS SMS sets the DeleteOnTermination attribute for the root volume to false, overriding the default. You can delete the root volume manually after you terminate the instance, or you can set the attribute to true so that Amazon EC2 deletes the root volume on instance termination. For more information, see Preserving Amazon EBS volumes on instance termination in the Amazon EC2 User Guide.

Replicate a server

AWS SMS automatically replicates live server volumes to AWS and creates an Amazon Machine Image (AMI) as needed.

To replicate a server

  1. Install the Server Migration Connector as described in Install the Server Migration Connector.

  2. Open the AWS SMS console at

  3. In the navigation menu, choose Connectors. Verify that the connector that you deployed in your virtualization environment is shown with a status of healthy.

  4. If you have not yet imported a catalog, choose Servers, Import server catalog. To reflect new servers added in your VMware environment after your previous import operation, choose Re-import server catalog. This process can take up to a minute.

  5. Select a server to replicate and choose Create replication job.

  6. On the Configure server-specific settings page, in the License type column, select the license type for AMIs to be created from the replication job. Linux servers can only use Bring Your Own License (BYOL). Windows servers can use either an AWS-provided license or BYOL. You can also choose Auto to allow AWS SMS to select the appropriate license. Choose Next.

  7. On the Configure replication job settings page, provide the following information and then choose Next:

    • Replication job type — Specify the replication interval (every 1-24 hours) or choose One-time migration.

    • Start replication run — Choose Immediately to start a replication run immediately or At a later date and time to start replication at the specified date and time, up to 30 days in the future. The date and time are specified using the local time of your browser.

    • IAM service role — Choose Allow automation role creation to have AWS SMS create a service-linked role on your behalf or Use my own role to specify an existing IAM role. For more information, see Service-linked roles for AWS SMS. This option is not present if AWS SMS has already created the service-linked role on your behalf.

    • Description — A description of the replication run.

    • Enable automatic AMI deletion — To enable automatic AMI deletion, choose Yes and specify the maximum number of AMIs to keep (from 1-270). To disable automatic AMI deletion, choose No.

    • Enable AMI encryption — To enable AMI encryption, choose Yes and specify an encryption key (using its key ID, Amazon Resource Name, or alias) or leave blank to use the default key for EBS encryption. To disable AMI encryption, choose No.

    • Enable notifications — Choose Yes to configure Amazon Simple Notification Service (Amazon SNS) to notify a list of recipients when the replication job is completed, failed, or deleted. For more information, see the Amazon Simple Notification Service Developer Guide.

    • Pause replication job on consecutive failures — Choose Yes to move the job to the PausedOnFailure state, not immediately to the Failed state, if the job encounters consecutive failures. This option is not available for one-time replication jobs.

  8. On the Review page, review your settings and update them as needed. When you are finished, choose Create. After the replication job is set up, replication starts automatically at the specified time and is repeated at the specified interval.

In addition to your scheduled replication runs, you may also start up to two on-demand replication runs per 24-hour period. On the Replication jobs page, select a job and choose Actions, Start replication run. This starts a replication run that does not affect your scheduled replication runs, except in the case that the on-demand run is still ongoing at the time of your scheduled run. In this case, the scheduled run is skipped and rescheduled at the next interval. The same thing happens if a scheduled run is due while a previous scheduled run is still in progress.

Resume a replication job

AWS SMS can pause a replication job after the maximum number of consecutive scheduled replication jobs have failed. Before attempting to resume a job that is in the PausedOnFailure state, try to identify and fix the root cause of the replication run failure. For more information, see Replication run fails during the preparing stage.

To resume a replication job that is paused

  1. In the AWS SMS console, choose Replication jobs.

  2. In the search bar, filter the jobs by PausedOnFailure to identify all paused jobs.

  3. To resume a paused job, select the job and choose Actions, Resume replication job.

Monitor a server replication job

You can manage and track the progress of each migration.

To monitor and modify server replication jobs

  1. In the AWS SMS console, choose Replication jobs. You can view all replication jobs by scrolling through the table. In the search bar, you can filter the table contents on specific values.

  2. Select a single replication job to view details about it in the lower pane. The Job details tab displays information about the current replication run, including the ID of the latest AMI created by the replication job. The Run history tab shows details about all of the replication runs for the selected replication job.

  3. To change any job parameters, select a job on the Replication jobs page and choose Actions, Edit replication job. After entering new information in the Edit configuration job form, choose Save to commit your changes.


    You may need to refresh the page for the changes to become visible.

Delete a replication job

After you have finished replicating a server, you can delete the replication job. This stops the replication job and cleans up any artifacts created by the service (for example, the job's S3 bucket). This does not delete any AMIs created by runs of the stopped job. When you are done using a connector and no longer need it for any replication jobs, you can disassociate it from AWS SMS.

To shut down replication

  1. Choose Replication jobs, select the desired job, choose Actions, and then choose Delete replication jobs. In the confirmation window, choose Delete.


    You may need to refresh the page for the changes to become visible.

  2. To clear your server catalog after you no longer need it, choose Servers, Clear server catalog.

  3. To disassociate a connector after you no longer need it, choose Connectors and select the connector. Choose Disassociate at the top-right corner of its information section and choose Disassociate again in the confirmation window.