How to move an EC2 instance to another AWS Region

I had a need to move one of my EC2 instance from one AWS region to another. I felt it would be a good post to share with you all in case you find yourself in a similar situation. Below are the steps I used to complete the task:

  1. Shutdown the EC2 instance that you plan to move. Shutting down the instance stops the I\O and allows you to capture a clean snapshot.
  2. In left pane, navigate to Elastic Block Store \ Volumes.
  3. Select the EBS root volume of the instance. Then click Actions \ Create Snapshot.
  4. In the Create Snapshot screen, add a Description for your snapshot (ie volumename-snapshot). Then add any Tags (Key Value pairs). As a best practice always tag your resources. Click Create Snapshot.

5. You’ll receive a confirmation after the snapshot completes successfully. Click Close.

6. In left pane, navigate to Elastic Block Store \ Snapshots. Select the snapshot that you just created. Then click Actions \ Copy.

7. In the Copy Snapshot dialog, select the Destination Region and add a description (you can leave the default description if you choose). Optionally you can tick the Encrypt this snapshot option to encrypt the snapshot. Click Copy once all options are set.

8. Navigate to the Region in which you copied the snapshot to. Here we can see the progress of the snapshot being copied. Depending on the size of the snapshot this may take a few minutes or more. You can hit the refresh icon in the top right corner of the screen to update. Once the snapshot is copied, the status will change to completed.

9. From here we can create an AMI that we can then use to launch the EC2 instance in the new region.

10. Within the Snapshots screen (in the destination region). Select the copied snapshot and click Actions \ Create Image.

11. In the Create Image from EBS Snapshot dialog, add a Name for the image. Add a description if you wish. At this point you can also add additional volumes to the AMI (Image). For this exercise we will leave only the root volume and leave all the other settings at their default. Click Create once everything is set as you want.

12. In left pane, navigate to Images \ AMIs. Select the AMI that you just created and click Actions \ Launch.

13. This will bring you to the EC2 launch wizard. Configure the instance as you wish and then launch the EC2 instance into the new region. I will be creating a separate post where I will outline how to configure \ Launch the EC2 instance.

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