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I have a piece of enterprise level Windows software that I would like to let certain people "play" with.

  • The software is complicated to install and licensing is difficult so I don't want to give them a license to install
  • I want to guarantee a set of other software is available on the host without asking the user to install a bunch of stuff

I would like to give them a login they can use for a month where they can use Windows Remote Desktop and login, use the software, and save their projects.

I thought about letting the users download a vm (like a bitnami appliance) but Windows licensing is too difficult to navigate.

At the end of their month I would like to eliminate their user on the machine and delete all their temporary projects automatically.

Is there anything out there that can help me accomplish this?

Thanks!

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How about a local VMware esxi server.

As long as you can get a computer(s) with enough CPU & RAM you can run multiple VM on an esxi server.

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How about hosted VMs? Like MS Azure offers a range of Windows VMs that are already configured - you'll need to install your software and give users credentials to access over RDP. Accounts can be scripted to be disabled at certain date. And VM can be shut down when not needed to save you some cash.

This way you are in control who gets access and when. Your software can't be re-distributed and you are in control of amount of time they get to use your VM.

The only downside is cost. But I suspect you are here for some profit so VM cost can be re-billed to your customers.

  • Thanks for your suggestion. And I agree, that would work in small volumes where revenue was a reasonable potential. But we want random people to play with our software and the azure vms could get expensive. I was hoping we could set up 10 or 20 vms on our own site that we could control. But I have to get my head around it. Thanks again for your response. – Dave Kearney Aug 22 '17 at 17:03

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