Hi everyone

Our SBS 2003 Exchange server will be in need of replacement soon (I cannot wait to get rid of Exchange) and I'm looking to go for Zimbra when v6 is released.
Currently I'm weighing up the cost of building a new box and hosting it on our LAN, and having our remote users (4 of them) accessing it over our ADSL connection.

I'm planning an installation of the Network Professional Edition with Zimbra Mobile for up to 25 users.
4 remote users from different locations in the US, then another 10 users accessing it from our UK office.

The other option is to go for a dedicated server. That would mean that our Zimbra would be directly connected to the internet which improves speed for remote workers and means we don't have to worry about the hardware.
Is that correct?

I'm relatively new to Linux, maybe 12 months experience, but recently used Ubuntu Server 8.04 to build a new NAS device here with Samba/Netatalk and Apache/PHP5/MySQL. I'm comfortable with editing crontab, SSH access/SCP etc.

I've never looked into dedicated servers before but I've found a couple of recommendations for a company called OVH, and I found this package which fits perfectly into our price bracket:
Superplan Best Of dedicated server - OVH individual

Here's some highlights:
- 2 x 750GB in a RAID 1
- 64bit
- Unlimited bandwidth... I realise there's no such thing as unlimited bandwidth, but I think for our email use this should be fine. We're not streaming videos or setting up a mirror or anything
- FTP backup to their backup server. So we can do full backups from our dedicated server onto their backup at ethernet speed.
- Gives me a server with a plain vanilla Ubuntu Server 8.04 LTS installation, which I can then install Zimbra onto

Downside is only 4GB memory, ideally I'd like 8 so I might contact them and see what they can do.

However I have some questions about dedicated servers in general.
I've only ever used shared hosting for websites etc or run our own servers on our LAN/ADSL connection.

1) If the hardware fails, do we have to pay for replacement parts?

2) Can we open any ports we like on the server?
I want to make sure that we will have full access to all Zimbra's functions

3) Should I virtualise the Zimbra installation? So that it could be moved to another server quicker?

4) Is a dedicated server suitable for this sort of use?
I guess this is all that Zimbra hosting partners do, albeit on a far larger scale.

5) Any considerations with using a dedicated server as effectively an SMTP server? Like outgoing daily mail limits etc? Getting blacklisted etc?

6) This company is based in Europe (UK/France). Can anyone recommend any US-based dedicated server suppliers with similar specs for around $120 and under?

Are there any crucial things I should be aware of when shopping for a dedicated server, especially for Zimbra usage?