Just a thought....
If you want to try and test without too much hassle easy configuration and management I would suggest using virualization environments (depending on how much physical RAM you have will determine how many instances you can run simultaineously)
You can always run them one at a time.
VMWare or Virtualbox are good solutions and install one of the pre-configured machines from TurnKey chances are you'll find what your looking for there.
As for server management I use Webmin on my Ubuntu Server 12.04 It comes as the default in TurnKey and is fairly user friendly to integate with other systems.
Between these solutions you can do what you want without touching your base host system - and use a ssh conection for everything. Perfect for testing. Later you can import to the cloud for deployment.
If you messed up just delete the .vmdk and start over
PS. Sharing information between machines is seamless with a bit of tweaking or you can just attach a flash drive to share information.
Hope this helps
"we can't solve problems with the same kind of thinking we used when we created them"