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Host VM machines and use as needed

Hi All,
   We have a need to create virtual machines for our sales folks and ship it/have them download it. WE use amazon s3 for the downloads. Once downloaded, the sales folks run it off their laptops or usb drives.

I was wondering if there was a service where I could upload these vm's and have them actually run it off the cloud. We tried using VM SErver to let them run it from our servers but for some reason, performace was sub optimal i.e. vm would run slow. It could be our bandwidth limitations.

Does Amazon EC2 or MS AZure allow for such machines to be uploaded and run from their infrastructure?
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gopalv
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gopalv
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2 Solutions
 
Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
You can convert Amazon EC2 Windows Instances to VMware Workstation or VMware vSphere Virtual Machines

see here

kb.vmware.com/kb/1018015

and you can also Convert VMware Workstation or vSphere VMs to  Amazon EC2 Windows Instances

http://aws.amazon.com/ec2/vmimport/
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
Convert Amazon EC2 Windows Instances to VMware Workstation or VMware vSphere Virtual Machines
http://kb.vmware.com/kb/1018015
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
You could also investigate options by VMware, VMware vSphere 4.x, 5.x, VMware View 4.6, 5.0, which allows Virtual Machins to be "checked out" and run locally on their laptops, and then checked back in again.

You could checkout VMware Player 4.0 (free), or VMware Workstation with ACE, which allows you to create distributable VMs, for them to run locally on their laptops, or see previous first post, converting VMs, to and from Amazon Cloud.
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Hypercat (Deb)Commented:
I don't know about the costs, etc., that might be involved in ramping this up, but I do know that Rackspace has a service that allows you to create and manage VMs in their cloud also:

http://www.rackspace.com/managed_hosting/private_cloud/

I believe Amazon EC2 now has something similar as well, but I tried researching it for my own purposes and got lost in the myriad of options and offerings. One of the things that I am not comfortable about with Amazon is that they seem to emphasize the configuration of webservers in all of their cloud offerings. Makes me wonder if their services are really robust enough for a server that is actually hosting an application being used on a daily basis by multiple users. Probably worth looking into though.

I do not have any direct experience with either of these companies, though...
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gopalvAuthor Commented:
Thanks all. I will look into the Amazon EC2 & rackspace options. will report back in a couple of days.
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gopalvAuthor Commented:
Hi All,
    I looked into Amazon EC2, MS Azure and Rackspace. My requirement was to run Windows 7 instances from the cloud. Unfiortunately neither provider does this. They only support Windows servers (makes sense).

Thanks for all your input.
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