AWS Server Migration Service (SMS) is a cloud-based service that makes migrating thousands of on-premises workloads to AWS easier and faster. AWS Server Migration Service enables you to automate, schedule, and track incremental replications of live server volumes, making large-scale server migrations easier to coordinate.

To get started with AWS Server Migration Service, you can use the wizard in the AWS SMS dashboard of the AWS Management Console. The AWS SMS can be utilized as a part of a company’s disaster recovery strategy by systematically replicating VMs to the cloud. Using an AWS SMS can offer you several advantages.

Advantages of AWS Server Migration Service


  • Being Simple As a user, you can start the migration process with few clicks in the AWS management console. The AWS Server Migration Service will automatically replicate live server volumes and create AMIs, which will help users to launch EC2 cases.
  • Continuous Testing A user must test migrated services to determine possible problematic areas. With the Server Migration Service, you can perform tests at a fast pace and save on network bandwidth which will help users conduct small tests iteratively.
  • Minimum Downtime – Downtime and unavailability are also notable concerns for businesses. AWS SMS replication will reduce the disadvantageous effects of application downtime to a point and guarantees high availability.
  • Centralization & Control – After running multiple on-site servers, you can be highly complicated and significant as the company expands. The AWS cloud service will allow centralizing the infrastructure, which will help to monitor, test, and cloud spend planning much more quickly.
  • Low prices – Money will always be a huge concern regardless of the system of migration. This is why AWS Server Migration Service is super popular. The service usage is free, as you only have to pay for the storage resources that the system will use during the process of migration. If you require AWS expertise, you can always contact an AWS consulting partner to assist you in avoiding unwanted charges.
  • Agility – By migrating only incremental changes made to on-premises servers, migrations can be completed faster while using less network bandwidth.

Work Stages of AWS Server Migration Service


Before we guide you within the steps of how to use AWS SMS to migrate your workload, we’ll go over the migration process and check how AWS Server Migration Service handles it. The migration procedure is divided into four stages. The first step is known as Scheduling. In this step you will be able to schedule a migration job at a specific time or date, depending upon the selected option. The second step is Uploading, here you will need to take a snapshot at first, then export the VM to the OVF template, then upload the VMDK to the S3 bucket, and at the end delete the snapshot. The third step is Converting. Here you need to convert the VMDK file to Amazon’s EBS snapshot, and then delete the VMDK file from the S3 bucket. The fourth and last step is to create an Amazon Machine Image (AMI).

The migration stages are iterative, with the replication frequency adjusted as needed. The shortest time between replication runs is 12 hours, and the longest time is 24 hours. This iterative cycle has a 90-day lifespan, after which the replication job gets terminated.

How to use AWS SMS?


AWS SMS necessitates the use of a connector to orchestrate the migration process’s workflow. This connector has been installed in vCenter. Ensure your environment meets the AWS SMS requirements and has the proper firewall configuration before deploying the SMS connector. The deployment will fail if the firewall is not reconfigured to allow stateful outbound connections for DHCP, DNS, HTTPS, ICMP, and NTP services. In addition, as detailed in the AWS SMS documentation, you’ll need to create a vCenter service account and an IAM user with the appropriate policy and permissions for AWS SMS.


AWS Server Migration Service (SMS) is also known as Infrastructure Migration, as it is the same shifting of piles of data or unique software from one system to another system. Thus with AWS SMS, you can track the status of your migration just by visiting the dashboard in the AWS Management Console. Talking about security, you can replicate server volumes which are encrypted in transit by the Transport Layer Security (TLS).