Convert Vcenter Template To AWS AMI

3 minute read

Description:

Follow this guide to take an on-prem vCenter template and allow it to be an AMI (AWS Machine Image) so that you know the default username and password for newly deployed machines (or whatever purpose).

To Resolve:

  1. In vCenter, Create a VM from template.
    • Then go to Actions - Template - Export as OVF template
    • This worked as expected, but I still wanted a single OVA file.
    • I was able to fix this by choosing the option of ‘open’ in VMWare Workstation locally on my machine from the exported ovf files and then once the VM imported, I exported as a single file OVA. Said another way: I took the exported vCenter files, imported them locally to my VMWare Workstation on my machine, and then exported as a single OVA file.
  2. In AWS, Create a bucket
    • Create a user called ‘svc_ami’ with programatic access and add to group AWS-S3

    • Powershell: ``` Install-Module -Name AWSPowerShell Set-AWSCredential -AccessKey seeKeypass -SecretKey seeKeyPass -StoreAs AMI $cred = Get-AWSCredential -ProfileName AMI

    New-S3Bucket -BucketName ami-test -Region us-east-1 -Credential $cred Write-S3Object -Folder ‘c:\scripts\test’ -Recurse -BucketName ‘ami-test’ -Region us-east-1 -KeyPrefix ‘/vms’ -Credential $cred ```

    • The end result of this command was I had a bucket named ‘ami-test’ with folder ‘vms’ and two files ‘win2019.ova’ and ‘rhel7.ova’
  3. At this point, I quit using powershell on Windows and switched over to WSL (because all examples were using awscli) . I then ran:

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    # Startup bash
    apt-get update --fix-broken
    apt-get upgrade
    apt install python3-pip
    pip3 install awscli --upgrade --user
    # previous command didn't seem to do anything. So I did:
    apt install awscli
    
  4. Now that we have awscli installed, we create a series of json files,

    • In AWS Web UI, create a user called ‘svc_api’ with programatic access and add to group ‘Account-Admin’. You will just need to ensure the user has rights to EC2 and S3 as far as I know.

    • Back in WSL, create 4 json files:
    • cd /mnt/c/scripts
    • vi trust-policy.json
    • Paste in:
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    {
    "Version": "2012-10-17",
    "Statement": [{
    "Effect": "Allow",
    "Principal": { "Service": "vmie.amazonaws.com" },
    "Action": "sts:AssumeRole",
    "Condition": {
       "StringEquals":{
          "sts:Externalid": "vmimport"
       }
    }
    }]
    }
    
    • vi role-policy.json
    • Paste in:
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    {
    "Version": "2012-10-17",
    "Statement": [{
    "Effect": "Allow",
    "Action": [
    "s3:ListBucket",
    "s3:GetBucketLocation",
    "s3:FullAccess"
    ],
    "Resource": [
    "arn:aws:s3:::ami-test"
    ]},
    {
    "Effect": "Allow",
    "Action": [
       "s3:GetObject"
    ],
    "Resource": [
       "arn:aws:s3:::ami-test/*"
    ]
    },{
    "Effect": "Allow",
    "Action":[
       "ec2:ModifySnapshotAttribute",
       "ec2:CopySnapshot",
       "ec2:RegisterImage",
       "ec2:Describe*",
       "ec2:FullAccess"
    ],
    "Resource": "*"
    }
    ]
    }
    
    • vi cont.json
    • Paste in:
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    [
    {
    "Description": "RHEL7",
    "Format": "ova",
    "UserBucket": {
       "S3Bucket": "ami-test",
       "S3Key": "vms/rhel7.ova"
    }
    }]
    
    • vi cont2.json
    • Paste in:
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    [
    {
    "Description": "WIN2019",
    "Format": "ova",
    "UserBucket": {
       "S3Bucket": "ami-test",
       "S3Key": "vms/win2019.ova"
    }
    }]
    
  5. Now we set the credentials and do the actual import

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    aws configure
    # enter access key, secret key of 'svc_api' NOT 'svc_ami' as they don't have rights to create new IAM policies
    # enter 'us-east-1' as the region and leave the return statements blank by just pressing 'enter' key
    aws iam create-role --role-name vmimport --assume-role-policy-document file://trust-policy.json
    aws iam put-role-policy --role-name vmimport --policy-name vmimport --policy-document file://role-policy.json
    aws ec2 import-image --description "RHEL7" --license-type BYOL --disk-containers file://cont.json
    aws ec2 import-image --description "WIN2019" --license-type BYOL --disk-containers file://cont2.json
    
  6. Check the status of the imports

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    aws ec2 describe-import-image-tasks --import-task-ids
    # get the id's 
    Now run
    aws ec2 describe-import-image-tasks --import-task-ids import-ami-xxxx
    
  7. After they import, you can now select them when you go to create an EC2 instance.

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