I run a small business that is growing fairly rapidly. I currently have 15 full time and several remote part-time employees. We are a consulting company so we are constantly typing reports or drawing simple images using illustrator or photoshop.
I recently bought a small business server to utilize the email and share point features but I don't use it as a file server. I don't really use share point to share files, rather I use it to track tasks and share general information about projects.
When I first started the company I used an old E-machine that runs XP Pro with a HUGE hard drive as a file server. This is where I store all our Word, Excel, PDF and image files. I still use this old E-machine to store and share just about everything for my company (except email which is stored on the SMB). Other employees network into this computer to access and save files too. I back this server up every night to two different locations.
I dont use the SMB as a file server because the e-machine does very well and it seemed like it would be very inconvenient to move everything to the SMB. Plus the cost of SMB hard drives seemed a bit high especially considering I am now storing over 200 Gs of data on the e-machine. Plus I am very familiar with XP and find it very convenient to have as the OS running my file server since I can also add third party software like a FTP server software. And if the hard drive fails, I'm able to run out to Best Buy get a new HD and have things restored in about an hour.
So I have two Questions:
1.At what point will this E-machine start being taxed beyond its ability? My company continues to grow and grow but I don't really notice any lag right now when opening or saving files (most are Word, PDF or Excel). Plus it is EXTREMELY stable; I can go many weeks even months without having to restart.
2.When this file server finally becomes insufficient, can I just build another file server that runs XP Pro? Would incorporating faster hard drives, RAID, and a faster processor allow me to run XP Pro for a couple more years? Does anyone have suggestions on how I can build a system that runs XP Pro to act as a file server?