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Update: AWS Adding Export to VM Import

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I reported earlier this week on Amazon’s (s amzn) new VM Import service, which some have described as a Hotel California for VMware (s vmw) images; once they’re in, they can’t leave. Today, I received word from Amazon Web Services that it’s planning to address this issue, to a degree, as the offering evolves. According to the new product home page:

[W]e will enable exporting Amazon EC2 instances to common image formats. We also plan to make VM Import available via a plugin for VMware’s vSphere console in the coming months.

We’ll keep an eye out for details when the new capabilities are released, but it looks like VM Import users will be able to re-convert their images into VMware images if need be, and from the vSphere console, to boot. If it works as advertised (however vaguely), it’s yet another sign that AWS understands how to sell traditional IT departments on cloud computing by giving them, essentially, the features they want (sub req’d). If it ends up being less than ideal, well, it’s still a net gain for everyone involved.

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