If I was to hazard a guess I would think we are experiencing failure in the array but I can't know for certain. Depending on the size and quality of the server a database from a forum like this shouldn't require too much hardware. Anther forum that I'm on rents their server/hosting as one package for $40 quarterly albeit their member list and age isn't as much as this forum.
At any rate, we have little support here. The admin hasn't been active or logged on in months and the guy that can keep things running smoothly around here isn't getting paid, so we're kinda on our own doing what we can.
This board runs on SMF 2.0.6 which is an open source forum software package.
I am quite sure the software has been tested and proven itself.
The latest version is 2.0.15 so there have been quite a bit of updates since 2.0.6
I checked the changelog and noticed there are updates that relate to database issues, cache memory and PHP5.5 integration.
You are absolutely correct that this site and its operation does not require high hardware specifications.
In fact one could easily run this board from a home PC and have no issues whatsoever.
This forum can run on any commercially available shared server solutions.
Lowest configuration is about USD 100 a year, highest configuration is about USD 300 a year (Linux)
Running this on a Windows based platform is about 30% cheaper
Not very expensive.
However you do not know how many other sites reside of the same server. The hardware specs must be aligned to the total of all sites and requirements.
I have noticed that the present errors are all generated due to a database call.
The server is online and remains so.
I sympathize with your guys for the lack of support by your admins, but as I see it they are instrumental to the resolution of the present errors.