Taking advantage of the Amazon EC2 free year long trial, I installed RapidAnalytics in their Cloud on a micro instance running Ubuntu 10.10 with MySQL. Port 8080 needs to be opened in the instance firewall to allow incoming requests to the RapidAnalytics web page.
Installation of the Ubuntu desktop, a VNC server and Java was the time consuming part. Note that installing Java does not work on a micro instance; there is a known error. The workround is to run on a small instance and then install Java in that environment. Having done that, the image can be saved and re-run on a micro instance.
The memory available in the micro instance is insufficient for the default JBoss settings. Reducing this to 512M allows everything to start but after 30 minutes it does not run properly with many timeout like errors.
Sad conclusion: the micro instance is too small - this is a shame since it means free Cloud practice is not possible.
Changing to a small instance allow things to start and after about 5 minutes, RapidAnalytics starts OK and is usable. This costs money - not a lot - but enough for my mean streak to kick in. A medium instance would presumably start more quickly - it would cost a bit more so I didn't try it.
The IP connectivity to allow the server to be found so that a local RapidMiner client can use it is the next step although money is likely to be required to assign an IP address that can be seen on the Internet.
Conclusion: RapidAnalytics will work in the Cloud but some cost conscious people will choose to install and play on local machines.
Installation on a laptop running XP SP3 and SQL Server is also OK as is installation on a 64 bit laptop running Windows 7 enterprise with MySQL. Note that some SQL Server components steal port 8080 necessitating a change to the JBoss port to something like 8081 in the server.xml file contained in the folder rapidAnalytics\rapidanalytics\server\default\deploy\jbossweb.sar.
Next steps will be to find a way to backup a RapidAnalytics installation and restore on a different machine.