Rackspace has announced the availability of Windows Cloud Servers. They are offering Windows Server 2008 is 32 bit and 64 bit versions for 2008 SP2, 2008 R2 and 2008 R2 SP2. You can grab various CPU and memory combinations and the cost/hour is very competitive.
|RAM||Disk||Network Throughput||Hourly Charge|
|1,024 MB||40 GB||30 Mbps||$0.08|
|2,048 MB||80 GB||40 Mbps||$0.16|
|4,096 MB||160 GB||50 Mbps||$0.32|
|8,192 MB||320 GB||60 Mbps||$0.58|
|15,872 MB||620 GB||70 Mbps||$1.08|
You’ll pay a bit more for Windows than you do for Linux but that’s pretty standard as MS charges licensing fees to the provider. The cost per hour is actually cheaper on Rackspace than it is on Amazon EC2 but the box you get at Rackspace is not as beefy. As an example, a small server at amazon (0.12/hour) is 1.7GB Ram and 160GB disk (on a 32 bit CPU). with Rackspace, the small windows box (0.08/hour) is 1GB Ram on a 40GB disk (but you can run 32 or 64 bit for your money).
You access your windows server via remote desktop like any other cloud provided windows server.
If you’re looking to spin up a quick windows server, Rackspace is definitely worth a look. I generally run on EC2 but I like having options and Rackspace is now competing is pretty much every category that I need.
They are selling this as a small to medium business solution and I agree with that. It’s also an excellent tool for consultants. You don’t always need beefy to do demos and sell product. Plus you get all of the other Rackspace (and Cloud in general) stuff like dynamically adding resources. You’ll also get Rackspace’s SLAs.
At this price point, you can run a small server (thinking web server here) for less than $60/month. You have to add in data costs in and out of the data center but still that is an excellent starter kit.