I need help with designing two new servers. This isn't something I do every day, and am interested in guidance for features, specs, etc.
Background: We are a small distribution company with no in-house IT personnel except for me, so it's important that the network be reliable without constant tweaking. We currently run two separate networks, both running on Dell Poweredge 1600SC servers. One network hosts our business software, running on an SCO Unix operating system. The second runs SBS 2003, Exchange Server and a handful of other applications. This system hosts about 25 client workstations and handles general computing chores. Each workstation connects via a telnet program to the Unix server for access to the core business processes. Don't remember the current server specs (they are similar), but each has 3 drives in a Raid 5 setup and a tape backup.
Now: The servers are about 4 1/2 years old - old enough that they start to worry me. We've outgrown the computing capabilities on the SBS 2003. The Unix server isn't being stressed for computing power, but considering its importance I don't like to let the hardware get too old.
What do I buy? I'm not so much interested in brand opinions, but in hardware setup. Is it smart to continue with a RAID 5 setup? Are there better options? Redundant power supplies? What type of backup technology? (This has been the most problematic area for us in the past.) At what point does a rack mounted system make sense as opposed to lining up towers on the counter?
Everything's on the table. I'd love to have some informed opinions. Thanks in advance.