If you can’t, or aren’t ready as of yet, to cloud your primary environment – consider what by-the-hour, or by-the-month servers that are built by you with your specs could do for your business! We’ve seen folks use it to test the effects of OS revisions and such on their applications prior to rolling them out. Others have used it to cost effectively provide a service that is cyclical, so the server isn’t gathering dust during down time. If you needed to do stand up demo servers for your consultants, and have live test/dev servers that your programmers and engineers used, you could build a shell with specs specific to both scenarios. Then tweak it before putting them into production.
This option sounds much less complex than ordering a server, loading the operating system, then the apps and content, putting it into production, and then reversing the process in order to accommodate the next need. Yep, I’d say creating your own shell is just a little simpler.