Need to host Lotus Approach on new server-what are the best options?

The Windows 2000 server that hosted a Lotus Approach database at a marina that I manage has died. The file was accessed by 5 workstations. It is a very comprehensive database of all clients who purchased boats, their maintenance history and all kinds of purchase info for each. Several of the workstations have been upgraded to new Windows 7 Home Edition computers which have local copies of Lotus Smart Suite installed in compatibility mode for XP Service Pack2 and everything worked great. The owner of the company has lost his installation disk for Windows 2000 server.I would like to know what options would be best to provide the workstations with access to the database. Would it be best to buy a new server with a newer version of Windows Server, or can WINDOWS 7 PRO be used as fileserver since it can allow access to more users. The company now has a Windows 7 Pro computer which hosts the Quick Books Enterprise company file and that works really well.This time of year is very slow so  it is lucky that it happened now instead of July when it is really busy and that database is accessed all the time.I am trying to think of the most cost effective way to host this file again. We will obviously have to buy new software and hardware but I it is just one database that needs to be accessed by 5 users. Thanks for your help.
UrsalaAsked:
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warddhoogheCommented:
Very likely no longer supported, you might want to contact IBM.
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UrsalaAuthor Commented:
You are right, it is not supported by anyone. However the database works and it is the only customer database that we have. With all the IT support we have had in the past, no one has ever said convert your database. We currently have no IT support so are trying to figure out what to do. It was working fine and is working on the standalone computer now and that is OK as it is not busy but we will need more access to that file in the spring. The question is on what to host this file. Can it be hosted like our Quick Books enterprise on a Windows 7 Pro computer or do we need an actual server like Server 2008 for one database? IBM does however support Lotus without the Approach part and is available for purchase even today just for your information. As well, can the database be converted without loss of data in anyone's opinion?
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warddhoogheCommented:
It's possible it will run on a dedicated win 7 pro computer, you will have to test that. Usually its the software installation that breaks off because it didnt detect it is being installed on a server operating system. And since its an old version, I'm sure it can handle 5 workstations on a PC that isn't older than 3 years. As long as you keep it dedicated to hosting the database.

Very important though, even if funding is bare minimal, make sure you make daily backups to another computer or external device. And test recovery as if you lost your host/server! It would be a shame putting efforts in backups if they fail to restore. (yes Murphy law is no joke!)

With a little more budget, invest in upgrading, even if you skip a version sometimes. that's ok. But try not to skip more than one version or conversions/upgrades might no longer be supported.
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UrsalaAuthor Commented:
Thank you for your help. I think this question of mine was not to interesting or I did not direct it correctly since I got only one response as I am sure there may be others out there with the same problem. However, the advice is good. I have initiated backup to external drives, burning DVD's every week and also using an online backup for our 2 critical files, the QuickBook Enterprise backup and this Approach one. There was other data on that server that was not accessible after the crash but I had made a good Acronis True Image Workstation backup image and was able to extract the data from it. As well I was able to convert that image to a Virtual Machine and I just last night installed it using VMWare Workstation on another computer that support virtualization and can access that from my test computer. It is totallay awesome and I did not think of doing this before and had forgotten I made the backup with Acronis. I do believe that virtuallizatiion is one of the answers for running legacy software like this but did not think of it till late last night. I have a trial till mid January so have time to work out the kinks and get some support from VM if I have to. Thank you for taking the time to help me out.
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