I'm doing some side work for a startup that's using Amazon EC2 - they have a Windows server configured in the cloud that needs to run some Windows-only software, however their main offering is a web application that's based on PHP; I want to configure a Linux virtual machine so I don't have to deal with any oddness in using WAMP on the Windows box (also to use things like
cron which don't work on Windows). While I've dabbled with servers I'm new to this whole virtualization thing.
What would be the quickest way for me to get up and running with this? I don't have a budget to buy software for this project so I need to use free tools; can I download something like VirtualBox and configure the Linux server via that? Is there anything weird I should know about setting up the virtual server so it can be accessed via the internet like a totally different server, or is it the same as with a "real" server?