We're setting up a new web2.0 type site with elements of e-commerce. Budget is kind of tight. Due to the nature of the site and promotions, etc., we expect traffic could ramp up fairly quickly. Looking for advice for a good configuration to start with, we' looking to co-lo with CalPop in downtown LA.
We've looked at Dell, ABMX.com, and got a quote from CalPop (they make their own servers as they also do managed hosting). Price range has been anywhere from about $1200-$3300 per server. We're thinking to start with a web server and db server, both with mirrored drives. It would be nice to stay under about 2k per server if possible. Min configuration for each would probably be a quad-core with 8GB Ram. Thinking to run Windows Server 2008 R2 (Web Edition?) and SQL Server 2008.
Looking for advice on the best server configurations and/or brands that fit the budget, yet will allow us to smoothly scale as traffic increases. Reliability is also pretty important. Also wondering if a switch/router is necessary or useful to connect the two servers.