What is EC2 Image Builder

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EC2 Image Builder simplifies the creation, maintenance, validation, sharing, and deployment of Linux or Windows Server images for use with Amazon EC2 and on-premises.

Keeping server images up-to-date can be time consuming, resource intensive, and error-prone. Currently, customers either manually update and snapshot VMs or have teams that build automation scripts to maintain images.

Image Builder significantly reduces the effort of keeping images up-to-date and secure by providing a simple graphical interface, built-in automation, and AWS-provided security settings. With Image Builder, there are no manual steps for updating an image nor do you have to build your own automation pipeline.

Image Builder is offered at no cost, other than the cost of the underlying AWS resources used to create, store, and share the images.

Benefits

  1. Improved IT productivity
    Image Builder significantly reduces the effort of keeping images up-to-date and secure by providing a simple graphical interface, built-in automation, and AWS-provided security settings. With Image Builder, there are no manual steps for updating an image nor do you have to build your own automation pipeline. Not having to write and maintain automation code frees up resources and saves IT time.
  2. Simpler to secure
    EC2 Image Builder allows you to create images with only the essential components, reducing your exposure to security vulnerabilities. When a security patch is available, Image Builder can automatically patch your images. You can also apply AWS-provided security policies (such as strong password enforcement, full disk encryption, enable firewall, and more) or custom security policies to your images to meet applicable internal compliance criteria.
  3. Simple image management for both AWS and on-premises
    EC2 Image Builder, in conjunction with AWS VM Import/Export (VMIE), allows you to create and maintain images for Amazon EC2 (AMI) as well as on-premises Microsoft Hyper-V (VHDX), VMware vSphere (VMDK), and Open Virtualization Format (OVF) virtual machines.
  4. Built-in Validation Support
    EC2 Image Builder allows you to easily validate your images for functionality, compatibility, and security compliance with AWS-provided tests and your own tests before using them in production. Doing so reduces errors found in images normally caused by insufficient testing. The deployment of images into production environments can be made to depend on tests passing.
  5. Centralized Policy Enforcement
    EC2 Image Builder enables version control for easy revision management. It integrates with AWS Resource Access Manager and AWS Organizations to enable sharing of automation scripts, recipes, and images across AWS accounts. Security and compliance testing also enable Information Security and IT teams to better enforce policies and compliance of images.

How it works

Image Builder provides a one-stop-shop to automate image management processes. Customers can generate an automated pipeline with an intuitive wizard in the AWS console to produce compliant Linux and Windows Server images for use on AWS and on-premises. When software updates become available, Image Builder automatically produces a new image and distributes it to stipulated AWS regions after running tests on it.

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