|Another alternative since it looks like you may be rebuilding the server using RAID, is to build SERVER2 with the new Raid1 configuration using a few drives. On this server, install VMWare ESXi and then P2V the server using Hotclone over to VMWare. I would recommend a small RAID1 setup for the VMWare installation (72GB drives or less) and then 3 500GB drives in a RAID5 config for the data store. This data store is what will store the actual VMs. Once you are up and running on the virtual server and everything is stable, rebuild the first server as another VMWare host. There is software out there to allow backing up of the Virtual Machines from within VMWare (Acronis, Veeam, etc). This will allow you to import the backed up copy of the Virtual Machine directly into the second server. once you are up and working on the backup server, you can work on migrating the data store from the main server into the backup. |
The main cost for an implementation like this would be in the cost of the additional drives. VMWare ESXi is free, so there is no cost on that side. The VM backup software would also be an additional cost, but you should be using good backup software no mater what server implementation method you choose.
This method will help to ensure that even if you have a major hardware meltdown on the server end of things, that you are able to get back up and working with minimal data loss and minimal downtime.
I also agree that the servers should be connected to good quality UPS units (APC, Tripplite, Belkin). These do not have to be expensive devices, I can suggest some if you wish.
As far as network redundancy goes, with 6 people, a 16 port gigabit network switch should more than suffice. To ensure you have something to use in the event of a failure, pick up an 8 port gigabit desktop switch. These can be had for less than $120 now. It may not be the best for full time use, but if your main network switch takes a dump, it can be invaluable to have around to swap in and get things back up and working.
I also agree with Wanderer that you should have support contracts in place on both servers. Dell ProSupport would be the support plan to look into for the servers. The base ProSupport plan has next business day onsite repair times, but this can be upgraded to 8, 4, or 2 hours onsite support. 8 or 4 would be the typical support level for mission critical servers.
I have several small business clients with 5-15 users who have a similar setup to the one that I recommended above (except without the second physical server in case of a hardware failure), which is why I feel that this setup may get you the best "bang for your buck".
Please let me know if you have any questions or need more information. :)
IT Desktop & Network Consultant - MOS Master Certified, MCP, MCSA, MCITP - Windows 7, CCNA Certificate Pending, A+, Network +