need advice on purchasing, setting up and maintaining a server



The server will host a Web Based application developed in Flex. Users
can go to a browser which has Flash installed, access our application,
see,add, remove their records and save it. It will store large amounts
of data, though this can be backed up on a external storage regularly.
Main requirement is speed(quick response time), minimum down time,
scalability, throughput. I was given the below quote by HP(

Quad Core Intel Xeon processor L5410(2.33GHz, 1333MHz FSB, 50W)
2nd processor Quad Core Intel Xeon processor L5410(2.33GHz, 1333MHz
FSB, 50W) Processor
Memory 16GB fully buffered DIMM PC2-5300 4X4GB Memory
Storage Controller HP Smart Array E200i/128 controller
4 hard drives each of 146GB, Hot Plug, 10K rpm
RAID setting RAID 5 drive set
Network card 2 Embedded NC373I Multifunction Gigabit Network Adapters
Power Supply HP 1u Server 700w Hot Plug Power Supply
Redundant Power Supply HP 1u Server 700w Hot Plug Power Supply
Redundant fan options
Storage Controller Upgrade HP 128MB BBWC
Server Management- Integrated Lights Out
Warranty 3 years Parts and on site labor, next business day

The price was around 4.5K US$

Can someone please advise if this configuration would be allright for
an application I plan to host? Are there any other options I have
missed? Can I get a better quote from Dell, IBM or some other vendor?
Should I get a hardware or software firewall or both?

I don't want to channel the end users who will be accessing the
application through VPN as they prefer to get authenticated going to a
URL and then accessing their information just like Yahoo Mail
What are the things I need to be aware of for setting up and
maintaining a server. I have not done one before. Can someone please
advise? I am going through the server tutorials on the web for setting
up and maintaining it?



Get several of them.  But, seriously, more info is needed.  Just to start with:
-How much data is a large amount of data? About 2 Tera bytes
-Maximum number of concurrent users? (Remember your 2 gigabit NICs will run at 850-900 megabits, so you'll have 1800 megabits total. At best.  If you have a hundred users all with comacasts 50 Mbit service, perceived response speed will not be earth shaking.
We will have some 300 users. But, concurrent will be about 50
-Have you considered (a) how much work this will be and
Yes, initially it will be until it is set up and system is stable.

(b) that you will probably get calls in the middle of the night
No, it is not as critical like Yahoo/Google that if it is not
available in night my organization loses revenue. I will get emails in
the morning if something went wrong at night.
and (c) using a commercial host?
Not allowed, as our organization wants to host something inhouse and
have more control over the data.

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