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... might not be very practical if people can only access it remotely.
You are not going to give people root access, are you? Then there will be some difficulties for an ordinary user. For example:
1. Apply patches, which is a very important admin activity if you are going to expose your machine on the Internet.
2. A lot of admin functionality is done in GUI. It'll be a bit challenging to set it up correctly. My suggestion is to use ssh tunneling, but your user will lose the chance of setting up things like openssl and openssh.
3. The major difference between solaris sparc and x86 is sparc has OpenPROM, and remote users will be out of luck in that aspect.
4. The environment will be ideal for software development, but users can setup solaris x86 on their own machine, which will be very convenient for them, and development environment is the same.
I'm not trying to discourage you, don't get me wrong. Like I said, it's a very good idea but it might need some more consideration. I think gathering together from time to time will help a lot, but again, that only applies to people in your area...
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