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Office Networking

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Here’s the background:
We're a NFP company in New Jersey. My boss calls me the 'tech savvy' employee because I know how to set up Outlook.

We have 3 desk tops (2PC, 1Mac) and 3 labtops (2PC, 1Mac) in the office that all see use depending on who’s here and what’s going on. We’ve been using a Maxtor Central Axis plugged into a router to share files between these computers and to archive old files. It failed last August and was replaced under warranty; in the last couple of weeks its replacement has started sporadically humming.

I'm nervous it might fail again.

So we’re looking to upgrade, and we have some grant money to help us out.

Is it time to make the leap to a server? How hard would that be to maintain? Maintenance will be my job, and it’s uncharted territory for me.
Is there an intermediate step? We don’t need the server to run programming for us, just allow us to organize and share our office files.

I appreciate any and all help!
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    Je suis Napoléon!

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if all you're looking for is file sharing and what not, you should look into a corporate level NAS (network attached storage) device. it would work exactly the same as your central axis, but would be more geared towards 24/7 operation. you should look for a model that has built in RAID configurations (i'd suggest RAID 5 or higher if you're storing critical information on this thing) and user replaceable (hot swap if possible) hard drives. there are quite a few on the market that are geared towards corporate level use. some of them even have built in print servers so you can share a printer on the network too
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