Amazon EC2 might be a nice way to get multiple dev servers on-demand without placing any additional burden on our existing servers.
There is a good (if slightly old) getting started guide and general introduction to EC2 here: http://paulstamatiou.com/how-to-getting-started-with-amazon-ec2.
Amazon offers different-sized servers. We would probably want the "Small" instance type. We don't know if we want a Reserved instance or On-demand. Basic pricing is here: http://aws.amazon.com/ec2/#pricing
Amazon have a new feature called Virtual Private Cloud which allows you to connect to your EC2 instances via VPN. This is currently in limited beta. We probably wouldn't bother with this yet.
When we understand the offerings better, there is a monthly charge calculator here: http://calculator.s3.amazonaws.com/calc5.html
- what kind of instance would we want, Reserved or On-demand?
- choose an existing OpenSolaris AMI from the list
- do we need to pay anything up-front?
- use the calculator to guess at some costs