When you create ECS instances, you do not need to set up new server environments from scratch. You can create images from source servers and migrate the images to target ECS instances.

Feasibility assessment

Before migrating images, you need to investigate the detailed configurations of source servers and assess the feasibility of image migration.

  • The size of the image file is typically large. If you have a large amount of source servers and network conditions are unfavorable, we recommend that you not use image migration. In this case, image migration will increase the time and labor costs.
  • If the application configurations on the servers to be migrated are complicated and not manually maintained, and network conditions are favorable, we recommend that you use image migration.

Migration tools

Alibaba Cloud Migration Tool, or Cloud Migration Tool for short, is an easy-to-use migration tool developed by Alibaba Cloud. It has high performance in migrating the operating system, apps, and data in a computer disk to a virtual environment or virtual disk partition.

Cloud Migration Tool can balance the loads between on-premises and Alibaba Cloud servers or between servers of different cloud services. Cloud Migration Tool is a lightweight and easy-to-use tool that is used to migrate images of physical servers, virtual servers, or servers of other cloud services to the ECS console. In this way, you can manage the resources on the cloud. For more information, see What is Cloud Migration Tool?.


  1. Prepare for image migration.
    • Prepare a public directory to store the image file.
    • Prepare a format conversion tool for the image file.
    • Check the operating system before you export the image.
  2. Migrate the server image. For more information, see Use Cloud Migration Tool to migrate server images to Alibaba Cloud.
  3. Create an ECS instance based on the image. You can log on to the ECS console, and go to the Images page to view the details of the image. You can create an ECS instance based on the image.