AWS is Retiring the EC2-Classic – Tips to Prepare for the Migration 

AWS EC2-Classic

EC2-Classic is a platform where multiple EC2 instances operate using the same network that your customers use. Recently AWS’s Vice President and Chief Evangelist Mr Jeff Barr have announced that they are soon planning to set a retirement for the EC2-Classic.

Before we move to the core reasons behind this shutdown decision, let us first go through EC2-Classic’s history.

The History of AWS EC2-Classic:

AWS EC2-Classic was originally launched in the year 2006 to support one instance type for security groups located in the US’s Virginia Region. It was a flat network model that was used to support assigned public IP addresses at the launch time.

Initially, EC2-Classic users were considering it as a valuable asset and have started prioritizing and utilizing it for many purposes. Many popular websites, such as Justin. This platform hosted TV, Animoto. It had given support to more than 3400 instances at that time when Facebook became popular across the world.

EC2 improvements focused solely on the networking module. Further, they launched Elastic IP addresses in 2008 for the longevity of those addresses and many instances in possible scenarios. After that, it got enabled by Auto Scaling, Load Balancing, and CloudWatch features for achieving the application’s high scalability.

Customers were using EC2 –Classic to align their EC2 instances with their corporate networks, gain extra control over their IP address coverages, and establish seamless network topologies. After its success, AWS launched Amazon Virtual Private Cloud (VPC) in 2009 and made it more transparent and understandable for the users in 2013.

A Big Decision to Drop Out AWS EC2-Classic from the Service:

EC2-Classic has helped many users, but like other things, it does have an expiry date or serving period, and the same goes with this platform. This article contains the necessary information, and some actions you need to take at a proper time interval.

Jeff Barr also said that “Amazon has planned everything to do this AWS EC2-Classic shutting down the process as smooth as possible so that non-other services get disrupted”. This way, users can take their time to do proper planning for the migration process.

Considerations for The Smooth VPC Migration:
Deadline For the Migration:

AWS is on its way to notifying its customers regarding the shutdown of EC2-Classic through their account teams and soon sharing notices about future updates in their PHD (Personal Health Dashboard).

Important dates and events for the VPC migration:

  • Every AWS account created after December 4, 2013, is enabled with VPC and can only have EC2-Classic support if requested.
  • On October 30, 2021, AWS has shut down all active EC2-Classic completely in every Region. Plus, they have stopped purchasing for its instance’s yearly subscriptions.
  • By August 15, 2022, AWS will hope that all EC2-Classic users have successfully made it to another instance platform, such as VPC. They will also be going to ensure that, the existing AWS account is free from all footprints of EC2-Classic resources – Retirement.

AWS also cleared that this timeline would help users to get a smooth migration and not face any further disruptions.

Resources to Consider for Migration:

While migrating to VPC, you must identify and examine these resources and then migrate them to the VPC. Such resources are:

  • Active or Blocked EC2, RDS Database, other reserved Instances
  • Elastic IP addresses (migrate them using the “move-address-to-vpc” command)
  • Classic Load Balancers
  • EMR, ElastiChache, and Redshift Clusters
  • Elastic Beanstalk environments
  • AWS Data Pipelines
  • Spot Requests
  • Capacity Reservations

In order to do so, it is essential to have knowledge about migrating resources from EC2-Classic to a VPC.

How Do We Find Such AWS Resources in EC2-Classic?

EC2-Classic might be scattered across the platform/account; therefore, it will need an executive tool or script for such, which is EC2 Classic Resource Finder Script. A single AWS account can run this smoothly. You should use a multi-account wrapper for multiple accounts registered under the AWS organization.

This resource finder will go through each AWS Region to find a specific resource and create their CSV files. This whole process will take a few minutes to complete the task.

Which Tools Should We Use for This Migration?
AWS Application Migration Service (AWS MGN):

You can migrate AWS instances and databases from EC2-Classic to VPC with this tool. It uses block-level replication and supports various versions of Linux and Windows servers, which is free for the initial 90 days.

AWS Support Automation Workflow:

It is a type of runbook that supports instance-level migration from EC2-Classic to VPC. At first, it converts EC2-Classic resources into an AMI, creates their security groups’ replicas, and then launches them as a new instance in the VPC.

After the migration is done, you can disable it in a region, but before that, you have to ensure that all resources are migrated successfully. Else you’ll have to contact AWS support to re-enable EC2-Classic. Resources left will run even after you altered the application status.

IP Address Migration:

While migrating EC2 instances and associated Elastic IP addresses to the VPC, you can simply use the “move-address-to-vpc” command. After that, you can add your Elastic IP address to the migrated instances in the VPC to continue to list the instance with their native DNS name.


We hope that this guide has helped you and given you thorough information about the AWS EC2 classic retirement and its remedy. In case you need any assistance in migrating EC2-Classic to a VPC, then CloudStakes Technology Pvt. Ltd. is always there to help. For more details about our cloud offerings, you can always visit our cloud computing solutions page.

Need cloud experts’ help to migrate EC2-Classic resources to Amazon VPC? Contact us today to know more about our cloud computing solutions and services and AWS cloud application deployment services. Or book cloud computing consulting with our cloud experts.

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