i just inherited a barely functioning network for a student housing cooperative of about 150 people. in it's current state, as i understand it from the previous person in charge of the network, we have working wireless access points and working ethernet cords going to working gigabit switches going to a barely functioning gateway (right now a simple home router) to one of three possible outbound connections. it is possible to connect to the network through the wireless or ethernet, but especially during peak hours, packets / connections are likely dropped or otherwise get no response. my intuition tells me to replace the gateway with something that can handle multiple outbound connections (WAN) and one inbound connection (LAN), while the rest of the network seems suitable for now.
i'm somewhat knowledgable in Linux (been using Debian after first Arch Linux) and i want to use as much open source as possible, but i'm confused whether or not a simple server that i could easily understand will work for this situation. do i need specialized hardware to handle the switching more effectively? if so, what are my options? (i found this, thoughts?) or if a Debian server would work, anything else i should about the specs required for this type of server?
also links to any useful information on using open source to maintain this type of network would be most appreciated. <3
P.S. crossposted http://redd.it/yybp2.