This post describes how you can upload your existing custom ISO files and launch your virtual machines on AWS or Google Cloud from it by attaching a CD-ROM device. Ravello provides a powerful platform that lets you run a multi-VM application from existing VMware or KVM environments on top of AWS or Google cloud without modifying the VMs or networking. Providing console access, CD-ROM & ISO support, are part of Ravello’s vision to make AWS EC2 look & feel more like your VMware ESXi environment.
Currently it is rather difficult to install a new virtual machine (Amazon EC2 instance or AMI) using a private ISO via the EC2 management console. The typical workaround is to install it locally in your private data center, say in VMware ESXi and then try to import that into AWS which is a rather painful process. Also, it is not possible to attach a CD-ROM and run your ISO in EC2 .Whatever you attach at /dev/sda1 becomes your boot device. However, you can only attach an EBS volume at that level, not an ISO. Often times you may want to run automatic testing of a product that is delivered as an ISO file. The new ISO artifact would need to be uploaded during the nightly automatic tests, and a battery of automatic tests for upgrade and clean installation run on it. There are plenty of other use cases for installing an AWS or Google virtual machine using an ISO file.
With Ravello, uploading an ISO file is as simple as uploading your files to dropbox. Once the file is in your library in Ravello simply add the CD-ROM device to your VM and select your customer ISO file from your library.
This two-post series on using the Ravello user interface to publish your ISO image on AWS or Google Cloud includes: