My main development machine is an OS X laptop, but for years I have run Windows systems (standalone, on a bootcamp volume, or via various virtualization systems), in order to test projects I work on for Windows compatibility. I'd like to get out of the business of maintaining local Windows systems (and cease buying Windows licenses), so today I tried setting up an Amazon EC2 Windows Server 2008 instance with ActivePerl, Cygwin, Strawberry Perl and MSVC++ 2010 Express. Everything went smoothly.
From here, there are a couple options:
- Keep the EC2 instance around, logging in occasionally.
- Create an AMI (Amazon Machine Image) to serve as a template, and create a new EC2 instance off of it every once in a while.
Regardless of which path we go down, my own problems are solved: no more maintaining a local Windows box!
However, the AMI path has another advantage: I have some collaborators who do not have easy access to Windows machines but who do have access to EC2, and I can share the AMI with them.
Is there anybody around here who has set up something similar? Any comments or advice?