Newbie: Is this type of networking and cloud computing possible?


I'm programming full time for some 9 years now, but I'm a newbie when it comes to Networking and cloud computing, so I have a few simple questions.

We are looking into working on a project that would have a windows client app send some data to our server which would then forward this data to "Workers" for them to crunch this data. I'd like the server to be running 24/7 but the "Workers" should be virtual computers (instances) that load up only when needed (by the server) and run those tasks, return data, and then shut down. I'd like to forward the costs of this cloud computing to the clients, so it's crucial that the instances can load up and shut down when needed.
I know enough about networking to make a computer automatically connect to the server when it starts up.


-Is there a cloud service out there that could possibly offer this and is this even possible?
-What do i google to find out more info? I know i tried.
-What is the approximate cost for 1 instance for 1 hour with a Core2Duo processor or similar and 512MB RAM?
-Will i simply need to install HD images onto each instance and then they will load up and do what they need to automatically, or how do i "program" each instance?
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  1. OK let me re-phrase the question:

    Is there a cloud service that offers the ability to programmatically switch instances on and off and also offers a Windows platform?
  2. Not enough info. The biggest questions that you haven't' answered is why? Why would you ever need or propose this sort of solution? The roi your suggesting would never be realized and remember this would be a straight expense versus capital expenditure.

    Sounds like a backwards solution based on trying to take advantage of a buzz word just for the sake of being with the "in" crowd and cloud solutions.

    What's the point and do they/you think this will actually improve the company's data reliability while decreasing cost and head count?

    A good consultant would refer the client to an expert in the field. A good reference should be rewarded with backend programming work for you. But I don't know if the world works like this anymore.

    Here's a good easy read if your interested in cloud technology that i picked randomly from my favorites-

    Please feel free to msg me with any real questions regarding technical details regarding implementation of this proposed ...solution.
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