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I'm looking to build a cluster of test machines that run XP, Vista and Win7 with 32/64 bit versions but I'd like to build these into a cloud system.

Looking at EC2 I can't install XP and I can't see any others that provide this.

So, does anyone know of an on-demand cloud platform that works like EC2 (per instance billing and on demand) but that would allow me to install custom operating system configurations?

Yes, I know that XP will be insecure etc and this is probably why Amazon don't want to touch it, but for my purposes I need large quantity of machines that represent real world scenarios. Hence XP, Vista and 7.

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closed as too localized by splattne Oct 18 '12 at 10:58

This question is unlikely to help any future visitors; it is only relevant to a small geographic area, a specific moment in time, or an extraordinarily narrow situation that is not generally applicable to the worldwide audience of the internet. For help making this question more broadly applicable, visit the help center.If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

up vote 1 down vote accepted

How about NewServers or SoftLayer? They allow you to provision real, bare-metal hardware on demand (Dell blades for NewServers) which means you won't have to worry about support for odd OS configurations. The prices are slightly higher than a virtualised environment such as EC2, but you still have the per-hour, on-demand flexibility.

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Depending on how comfortable you feel with this sort of setup, you could get a dedicated server with Citrix XenServer installed and set up these test environments in virtual machines, this will however incur a monthly fee vs. billing per hour, but I don't see how else you will be able to do it otherwise, as providers can't license XP, Vista or Win7 for you to use on a server, only server editions.

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