There was request today on the Frontier User email list asking for information on best practices for implementing a Manila Server. I have implemented the Manila environment on three servers, so I can provide some insights here. I'll start with talking about the server. Future topics include maintenance, backups, Virtual Hosting and DNS, setting site parameters, and Server Admin.
I run Manila on Mac OS X and Windows 2000. My preference is OS X (10.2) because it is very stable and has Apache built in making it very easy to implement static sites. Windows 2000 also works well, it is just bit more difficult to me to manage (partially a problem with familiarity with the system). My server admin complains that frontier crashes frequently on Windows 2000, but I haven't seen this while monitoring the server.
If you are running on Windows 2000, you will probably want to run it as a service. You can use AutoFrontier to do this. Running as a service will ensure that Frontier always launches when the server boots and you will not have to login to the server to run Frontier. You cannot run Frontier this way in OS X, you must login to the server before running Frontier. To make sure that Frontier is aways running, use the KeepFrontierRunning applescript. I use a modified version of the script that opens, checks to see if Frontier is running, launches Frontier if not, and then quits. The script is called by a cron job every minute.
As far as hardware specifics go, any decent modern processor will work. My OS X server runs on an Apple Xserve box with a 1G G4 processor, 768 MB of RAM and two 60 G hard drives. Nightly Frontier backups are written to the second drive.