I work for a small not-for-profit community outreach center. Lately we have been having some issues with our network and I think it's time to upgrade. But I am without a doubt over my head when it comes to networking. I'm very computer literate though, and I think I can handle it, I just need some advice as to where to start.
The previous sysadmin who was here set up a network which, for the life of me, doesn't make a lot of sense. I've talked to an IT buddy of mine too, and it was his opinion that it was pretty jacked up also.
Here's the system:
There are a total of 6 computers servers comprising the hosts. (I think that terminology is correct anyway.)
They are, as follows:
Server 1: x86 Pentium, OS-Windows Server Family 2000 SP4; 3 partitions, not sure # of physical drives
Server 2: Pentium III, OS-Windows Server Family 2000 SP4; 3 partitions, not sure of # of physical drives
Server 3: Pentium IV 2.8ghz, OS-Windows Server Family 2000 SP4; 3 partitions, not sure of # of physical drives
Server 4: Xeon 2.4ghz, OS Windows Server Family 2000 SP4; 4 partitions, not sure of # of physical drives
Server 5: Pentium IV 2.8ghz, OS-Windows Server Family 2000 SP4; 4 partitions, not sure of # of physical drives
Server 6: Celeron 2.8ghz, OS-Windows XP Pro SP 2; 1 partition
Internet access is provided by an ATT T-1 line using Hyperedge equipment, 2 Cisco 1700 routers and a WatchGuard Firebox firewall.
Now, as I noted, I'm a noob when it comes to networking, but this all seems REALLY overblown to me, especially running six boxes. Server #6 actually runs the firewall software if I'm not mistaken, but is it necessary to have that many boxes running? We're constantly having to reset the servers because if one screws up it takes the whole system down. Most of our storage noted above is not used, and is primarily for documents. We have a total of about 42 workstations which access the network, most running WinXP Pro.
I'm thinking that everything could EASILY be handled by one box running either MS Server 2003 or MS Server 2008 and a couple of 500GB drives (which will be more than we'll need for a LONG time).
It seems that, at best, running that many boxes is a waste of electricity and at worst a hodge-podge of complexity. Am I correct in my assumption?
Yeah, I know, most of the stuff on this forum is home-related. But, as I noted, we ARE a not-for-profit, and with the way things are right now we just can't afford to have an outside tech come in and redo the system. That being the case, I'd appreciate any and all hints or helps that might be provided.
Thanks in advance!