Amazon announced today that you can run Windows on EC2. I'm giving this a go, as being able to spin up virtual Windows boxes on the other side of the world might come in handy one day. I don't see a HOWTO on Amazon's site, so here's a log of my attempt today.
I don't see a list of the public images, but searching for
"amazon public images" window server 2003 on the Submit an AMI page brought up a few official-looking ones.
So, I start an instance:
ec2-run-instance run ami-782bcf11 -k gsg-keypair -a public -i m1.small
ec2-describe-instanceseventually tells me it's
ec2-75-101-250-161.compute-1.amazonaws.com, so I try connecting to that with the Remote Desktop client. No luck - I guess I need to open port 3389.
I did that with ElasticFox because I don't remember the syntax for editing security groups. In ElasticFox, firewall permissions are under the Security Groups tab. Just hit 'refresh' under Your Groups, then select the appropriate one and add a new permission to allow traffic from 0.0.0.0/0 to port 3389.
You also need to get the password for the Administrator user. Under the AMIs and Instances tab, right-click on the Windows Server instance and select Get Administrator Password.
After all that, I could connect in with Remote Desktop without any trouble. I didn't have anything to do today so I just tried out Internet Explorer, found that it worked fine, and shut down the instance :)