You need a server. Open edX is a free open-source software platform, but you still need a server on which to run it. These days we use cloud-based virtual servers. You need need other stuff too, but mostly it’s the virtual server that makes up nearly the entirety of your your IT infrastructure budget. Virtual servers come in many different sizes and configurations. You want a 2-processor server with 16gb of RAM and 100gb of “hard drive” storage space. This will typically cost $75 per month; a price that can be lowered by as much as 40% by purchasing the server on an extended contract of one, two or three years.
You should keep a couple of things in mind while you’re shopping for your IT infrastructure solution. First, The cloud IT infrastructure industry is anecdotally equivalent to “Ford, Chrysler, and Chevrolet”, and like the auto makers, there’s little differentiation between the three principal providers Amazon Web Services (AWS), Google, and Microsoft. You’ll get the same server, and comparable ancillary services regardless of which of these providers you choose. If you’re ambivalent then choose AWS since that’s what the community was quasi-standardized on during the time period when most of the platform’s technical documentation was being drafted. Otherwise, and especially if you already have an account with, and are comfortable with one of the other two, then stick with that provider.
Second, you’ll most likely be installing Open edX on a single virtual server. Take note however that when researching Open edX infrastructure requirements you’re prone to encountering some pretty complex IT infrastructure planning documents and diagrams. You can probably ignore them. They originate from large educational institutions who have shared this information for the benefit of the Open edX community.