I need a sensibility/reality check on an idea I'm hatching... feel free to comment good, bad or ugly.
I am a Race Director for a series of local bicycle races. We have a registration system (RegApp) that was written by one of our talented nerds (and very fast -- at least on a bike). It utilizes Google Web Toolkit so we just need to set up our LAN at the race site, and point a browser to web server for the app. All good. It works very well with multiple data entry points simultaneously hitting the database of racers information.
The issue is we don't get all the information that USA Cycling has for each racer -- pretty much all we get is their license # (unique ID), name, gender, race age (date of person on 31-Dec of current year), and category of racer (Pro, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5). Eligibility can be determined by gender, race age and category.
The other info not provided to us is the racer's email address, and emergency contact name and phone number. We would like to get that information to allow us to complete an Rider Release form, which is a legal document that says they won't sue us if they are injured during the participation in the event.
What I'd like to do is set up our system on either TKL LAMP or TKL Google App Engine (doesn't really matter which one -- the programmer would make that distinction) on an Amazon cloud server with a Dynamic DNS running and TKLBAM. After seeing Jeremy state it many times, it seems like we could either "shut-down" -- not sure if you really ever "shut-down" the cloud -- or put the Amazon instance in a maintenance mode, make a full TKLBAM backup, then bring down the TKLBAM restore to a laptop running some type of VM software (hopefully compatible with the Amazon environment).
On-site, we would need to utilize a cellular internet connection, and anyone going to online registration at that point would be directed to the laptop server (via DDNS). This would significantly reduce our dependence on mobile WiFi hotspot, and put the processing power and data where we need it -- on-site.
After the races are completed for the evening, we would reverse the process in order to get the web server back up on Amazon, and ready to take registrations for the next week's race.
Does this make any sense from a process and/or technical perspective or is the notion of a "portable server" a little too nuts?