tasked with setting up virtual environment

We have an on going automation lab for software testing with about 45 machines, but I have been told that they are wanting to double this amount. Now we are getting quotes for 45 additional machines, but I want to see the cost for setting up a virtual environment for these new 45 machines.

Since I am new to this, what is the best option for hardware to be able to handle the need of 45 VMs?

I have also heard of MS Azure and would that be a better option to tackle this project?

Thanks in advance.
dwfortnerAsked:
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
45 machines, you have got many options and vendors to consider.

You will need at least 45 Windows Computers to turn into clients, or 45 terminals, and then the infrastructure to deliver 45 sessions (Remote Desktop Services) or 45 virtual machines.

Do you need or have a requirement for 45 virtual machines e.g. VDI, or would Server based computing via RDP, ICA (Citrix) work for you? (requires less hardware).

this first document explains what Remote Desktop Services (RDS) or Terminal Services (old name) can do

http://www.wtslabs.com/Downloads/TSAtoZ.pdf

this second document VDI Smackdown, compares the current vendor VDI solutions on the market, from VMware, Microsoft, Citrix, and others.

(you will need to create a login).

 http://www.pqr.com/images/stories/Downloads/whitepapers/vdi%20smackdown.pdf

It depends on your budget.

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Mohammed KhawajaManager - Infrastructure:  Information TechnologyCommented:
If you are going to use Remote Desktop/Terminal Services and hosting it in-house then ensure to purchase Windows Server Data Center Edition for each of your hosts as this will allow you to run unlimited number of Windows Server without purchasing OS server licenses.  Remember that each client with still need Windows CALs and if you are going to use Remote Desktop/Terminal Services for users then each user will require RDS CALs.
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