There are a dozen physical machines running Windows 2003 server on different hardware platform located in different locations. It's not practical to mirror those physical machines to another dozen identical hardware to prevent the potential hardware failure. I am wondering if the following idea is practical.
1. Take an image of those dozen physical machine by Ghost;
2. Virtualize each image into a spare physical machine (what virtual software to host the virtual machine here?).
3. Bring up the corresponding virtual machine if any production physical machine has to be taken offline for repair.
Assuming the performance is not a concern here since it is only temporary. Functionality/availability is the goal.
Q#1. What (free/cheap) tools can be used to virtualize the Ghost image?
Q#2. Is VMware Player or Workstation is suitable to virtualize such Ghost image?
Q#3. Is VMware Player or Workstation is suitable to run such virtual machine? (only one virtual machine will expect to run at any time though it need to run any of those dozen machines).