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I have an EC2 instance running. It was launched out of a 32-bit AMI.

Now I want to scale up to 'Extra Large' size. Is there a way to do it? Through the admin console, it is not allowed.

If at all I do it, is it of any use to run 32-bit applications in an Extra large instance? How do I migrate a 32 bit instance to a 64-bit instance?

In my case it is a Linux instance, so I can take a snapshot of the existing instance, create a volume, and attach the same in the 64 bit instance and use the applications(jboss) from there, without data loss. Even then, a few application will have to be reinstalled again as 64-bit versions.

Please suggest efficient ways.

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What distribution do you use? I've migrated Fedora i686 to Fedora x86_64 once but it was quite difficult. I believe RHEL-based distributions like CentOS are just not suitable for this. – Alex Aug 10 '12 at 12:47

The AWS docs suggest that 32-bit platforms are not available on instances larger than medium, so it would appear that a c1.medium (5 ECUs) is the most you can get without migrating your data to a new instance.

You mention running jboss, so at first glance it would seem that migrating your code to 64-bit would be comparatively simple: start up a new 64-bit AMI of the same distro, install the same base packages (apache2, java, jboss, etc) and then re-deploy your jboss app.

However, you mention being concerned about data loss, but don't mention whether your data lives in a database, xml files, local file system, etc. I can only guess, but your choices there are probably comparatively easy as well. Migrating databases (like MySQL) from 32 to 64 bit is not too hard, and copying filesystems is easy as well.

One caveat to all of this: you do not mention your application criticality. If you must do this migration without taking your app offline, everything I said is wrong and you would need to formulate (carefully!) a migration approach.

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+1 Good advice. However if you're going to move something like MySQL you could always move the data onto another EC2 volume then when you create the new instance attach the same EC2 volume to the 64bit instance. Only the root device cannot be moved. – bwight Aug 10 '12 at 17:13
@khoxsey this manual migration is what I had in my mind, my question is, Is there any other efficient approach? The application is of medium criticality, it can withstand a day downtime.. – Nannakuhtum Aug 10 '12 at 17:15
I know of no automated tools to do what you ask ex-post, although there are several tools that will handle it if you plan ahead (Puppet, Chef, cfengine, etc). My team has written build/install scripts for our service layer so we can spin up new instances quickly and without error, and now might be the right time for you to do something similar, but only you can know that. – khoxsey Aug 10 '12 at 17:25

Upgrading an AWS EC2 instance should be fairly simple.

  • Login to AWS management console and select EC2. In 'Instances' menu on the left, select the instance you want to change it's type and shutdown the instance

  • Once shutdown, select the checkbox for this instance and from the 'Instance Actions' drop down menu at the top, select 'Change Instance type'

  • A pop window will appear where you can select the new instance type from the dropdown menu. Then click 'Yes, Change' button.

  • You can then start the instance with it's new type.

It is best if you can migrate your applications to a 64 bit type manually. What 32 bit application are you using?

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He can't do this because his instances is a 32 bit instance. The type he's looking to change to is not available. – bwight Aug 10 '12 at 17:10
32bit applications will run on 64bit OS. – Chida Aug 10 '12 at 20:06
That's not the problem. The problem is that his instance has a 32bit OS installed. He cant shut it down and start it with 64bit hardware. That's what he is asking about. – bwight Aug 10 '12 at 20:18

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