Users: Single office, maximum 10 simultaneous users
APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: jun 2010
SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: SQL server running electronic medical records (text data, tables and charts, and photographic and medical images)
PARTS NOT REQUIRED: : keyboard, mouse, monitor, speakers
PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: NCIX.ca, Newegg.ca
COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: Canada
PARTS PREFERENCES: I am used to ASUS, but I have an open mind. Must have: ECC memory. Want to hear about using SSD for system disk. Want hardware raid 5 on board, and I also want to consider external hardware raid via esata for backups. I currently use Acronis for server backup (creates system image nightly)
OVERCLOCKING: NO CROSSFIRE: No
MONITOR RESOLUTION: NA
ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: Most important issue is reliability- I need to ensure that I can get back up and running in a couple of hours at most. I puchased a Dell server with the 4 hour response time. They have already been here 4 times. I want to build my own device out of reliable, commonly available parts that I can replace myself if necessary. Again, reliability is my most important issue, not speed. Don't get me wrong, I don't want a slow machine either, its has to be relatively fast, but it is not the most important issue.
I am not up on the newer stuff, but the machines I built in the past worked flawlessly for many years. The Dell I bought recently is the first time I have ever experienced problems with bad ram, bad mobo, etc. etc (four service calls and four major system component failures all within about 3 months, not to mention the failures in the client pc's I bought). This made me worry that all prebuilt systems are basically thrown together with little testing and basically no quality control- or did I just get a lemon?
That is the only reason I am thinking about going back to self built devices. But I do hear what you are saying- things are getting more complex now- there are so many choices and so many incompatibilities, you have to read all the fine print to make sure that everything goes together-that does worry me. A product life span is measured in months now- things come and go so fast- it is very hyperdynamic- I don't want to get stuck... its not simple like it used to be.
BTW, I started working with with computers when we needed an entire room to hold one device (in the early 70's ) and I have had pc's since 1982, and have fussed around with system builds for the last 20 years, but admittedly none in the last 5 yrs. So much has changed, thats what brought me here. I was hoping to get some experienced opinions about what the most reliable parts are in today's market, if I was going to build my own system- dual power supplies, single multicore chip, ECC ram, raid hardware etc.
For example: I used Adaptec raid card, SCSI 10k Fujitsu drives raid 5 with hot spare, intel xeon chip on an ASUS mo board etc-and it ran great 24/7 for 10 years. What would you build if you were making something today? Would an SSD for the OS be a good idea (?maybe RAID 1 mirrored SSDs), or is this not ready for prime time?
Q: Is it still possible to build something that lasts more than a couple of years? If not, I will go with readymade, and plan on replacing the whole thing as soon as warranty support ends, I guess...