Few days ago, Amazon Web Services launched a new service called VM Export Service: now you can export a VM outside of Amazon towards your favorite HyperVisor:
The service can export Windows Server 2003 (R2) and Windows Server 2008 EC2 instances to VMware ESX-compatible VMDK, Microsoft Hyper-V VHD or Citrix Xen VHD images. We plan to support additional operating systems, image formats and virtualization platforms in the future.
It’s another step towards the end of Vendor Lock-in?
Lock-in is the behaviour of a Cloud Provider that gives you proprietary tools that make not easy to withdraw from him. It’s a common practice to keep customers, hostiled by many willing for “open” and shared solutions (I can see my friend Massimo Re Ferrè having a shock at this point…).
For sure this is another step towards a better interoperability, but we are only at the hypervisor level. You will be able to move a VM between Amazon and other hypersisors. But what really creates the lock-in are the APIs to automate your cloud experience, and here no Cloud platform can offer you interop or lock-in avoidance; and it will not in the short-time.