|#An Amazon Machine Image (AMI) is a special type of pre-configured operating system and virtual application software which is used to create a virtual machine within the Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud:|
It serves as the basic unit of deployment for services delivered using EC2.” AWS supports the following virtual image types for import/export: VMware ESX VMDK images, VMware ESX OVA (export only), Citrix Xen VHD images and Microsoft Hyper-V VHD images.
The following diagram summarizes the AMI lifecycle. After you create and register an AMI, you can use it to launch new instances. (You can also launch instances from an AMI if the AMI owner grants you launch permissions.) You can copy an AMI to the same region or to different regions. When you are finished launching instance from an AMI, you can deregister the AMI.
Life Cycle of AMI