I have a small office network in our church, all Macs, and a limited budget. For the most part it works well but the server crashes once or twice a week. We try to do some kind of upgrade at least once a year, typically with less than a thousand dollars. At this point, I am unsure where to put our money. Here's our system:
Server: 6115 Performa, OS 9, 40 meg RAM, Jaz 1 gig driver for backups
Bookkeeper: 4400 with Crescendo G3, OS 8.1, 96 meg RAM
Secretary: 4400/200, OS 9, 56 meg RAM
Administrator: PB 3400/200, OS 8.5, 48 meg RAM
Youth Minister: 7200/160, OS 8.6, 96 meg RAM
Senior Minister: PB FireWire/400, OS 9, 196 meg RAM
Volunteer (seldom used): Centris 040, OS 8.1, 16 meg RAM
Hub: Genuis 8 port, twisted pair 10MB ethernet
Useage notes: The bookkeeper has the fastest machine because of all the number crunching. The secretary has a 17 inch monitor for newsletter layout and other DTP with PageMaker 7.0. The server keeps our primary database file for the congregation (an Omnis program), the calender file (Now UptoDate) and our interoffice communication via SnapMail. We are about to add to the server a second ethernet port with a NuBus card for a DSL modem. The only folk who access the internet now are myself (Senior Minister) and the Youth worker, though all the stations can send e-mail via SnapMail routed through the server. With the DSL modem, all stations will have access to the internet. Each station has its own printer and access to a LaserWriter. We don't do much in the way of multi-media or have any need for video editing and graphics.
My primary objective in upgrading would be to increase stability, second would be overall performance (speed and flexibility). One of my thoughts would be to hire a consultant to come in and do a complete evaluation. Another is to buy OS 9 for all stations. Should we be using a different machine for the server? If we were to upgrade just one machine, say with an iMac or a used G4, should it be the server or should we upgrade one of the other machines and one of the 4400s the server. Should we be working towards 100MB capable ethernet system?
Your thoughts would be most welcome!