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Old 10-05-2013, 10:37 AM   #1
xri
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Question Running Windows: Virtualbox vs. Amazon EC


My shop runs Linux 99% of the time.
However, every now and then we need a couple of programs which only run on Windows (and DO NOT run on Crossover Office). So far, I see only two straightforward solutions:
  1. Purchasing several copies of Windows one per workstation (due to license limitations) and running it on Virtualbox for each coworker.
  2. Purchasing one copy of Windows, creating a single VM on Virtualbox and making the disk 'multiattach', which would allow for creastion of a VM on each workstation. However, I suspect that would be illegal.
  3. Running a Windows instance on Amazon EC. That would eliminate most of the administration problems and would make that box reachable for any of us.

I'm inclined for the third option, since I don't need more IT administration tasks at this point. I may be totally wrong, though.
The variables I'm considering are: {availability, security, speed, added administration time (both hardware and software), total cost}.
Does anybody have experience running Windows on Amazon EC from a Linux only shop?
I would love to hear your story/advise on this.
Thanks for reading this.
 
Old 10-05-2013, 02:39 PM   #2
Habitual
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xri View Post
Does anybody have experience running Windows on Amazon EC from a Linux only shop?
I would love to hear your story/advise on this.
Thanks for reading this.
Please don't use colors or emphasized fonts/sizes.

I'd Virtualbox it and have users rdp into the Virtualbox instance to run a "couple of programs"
You don't need a VM on each workstation if you utilize rdp.
 
Old 10-06-2013, 11:58 AM   #3
xri
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Thanks, Habitual. Sorry for the visual emphasis. Often times I've got irrelevant answers to my questions (probably due to my terrible writing skills; that's why I opted for the multicolor approach
I too have used rdp to connect to a local VM. For that kind of local use, I have advantageously replaced it with 'x2go' running that virtual machine only. It is faster and (if anybody cares) more secure than plain rdp. However, for business purposes, I see the following problems:
  1. It adds up to the IT maintenance overhead. After upgrades or other factors, Virtualbox has broken in the past and, although the fixes have not been particularly difficult, they have required time.
  2. The stability of the business is an important factor. If the computer that holds the virtual box goes down, the Windows box goes down too.
  3. The restrictive Windows license, which (correct me if I'm wrong about the 'locality' part; I will look it up) allows for only one instance to run, and only locally. Probably the hosted Windows instance has another type of license?
Having an instance on Amazon EC looks like an option to consider, but, since the salespeople always show the pros and never the cons, I asked the initial question (this time without the highlighting):
Does anybody have experience running Windows on Amazon EC from a Linux only shop?
And specifically, I defined the following parameter set (again no highlighting):
{availability, security, speed, added administration time (both hardware and software), total cost}
Thanks again.
 
Old 10-06-2013, 09:55 PM   #4
Habitual
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xri View Post
Does anybody have experience running Windows on Amazon EC from a Linux only shop?
Yes, I do, for a Living. All day, every day.
If you have a Professional need of Professional AWS Services, you could always send email to info at cirrhus9 dot com
or visit the link in my signature. Hanging out here fielding questions isn't just a hobby.

If you have a Professional need for stability, security and flexible storage for a "couple of programs" then perhaps an EC2 Instance of Windows would be suitable.

Start here...

Security is well thought out. Instances are locked down (not even a public IP (called and EIP in AWS-speak, Elastic IP)
You have to specifically open ports you want opened and those are only accessible by the networks/nn you specify.
Overview of Security Processes

They even offer a Microsoft Windows Server 2012 RTM instance on their Free Tier
Amazon EC2 (Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud) is a web service that provides resizable compute capacity in the cloud. It is designed to make web-scale computing easier for developers. The AWS Free Tier includes 750 hours of Linux and Windows Micro Instances each month for one year.

There's 168 hours in a week.
4.3 weeks per month (usually'ish)
4.3 x 168 = 722.4 hours

Enough to make a determination.

Good Luck!
 
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Old 10-08-2013, 08:30 PM   #5
xri
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Thanks a lot, Habitual.
You're giving me important information and showing me that it is a quite feasible option.
I'm bookmarking your site.
 
Old 10-09-2013, 11:12 AM   #6
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You're very welcome.
 
  


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