ECC worth the cost in this server build?
I'm about to throw together a server for my cousin's small business because they are a bit short on cash and can't afford an IT admin ATM. It will be storing contacts and payroll information alongside a little miscellaneous data, AutoCAD files, and some encrypted business documents. Storage will be four three terabyte HDDs in raid 5. It won't be connected to too many computers: a receptionist's computer, three or four office computers, and a couple of workstations through a switch. The data that will be stored on this server will be kept for at least half a decade and really doesn't need to be lost. Would it be worth it to go opteron/xeon and thus ECC to help protect my data, or should I go with a regular desktop build and save a few bucks?
You are going to need a proper hardware RAID controller so you might as well get a proper server not a desktop motherboard
You need 24/7 rated server hard disks which cost more than those sold for PC's
Most of the big companies have low end servers available without hard disks and a choice of RAID controllers
Hot plug hard disks & controllers are not necessary.
EEC ram is useful if server supports it and can test and disable bad ram modules at bootup.
What are you going to back up data to :-
tape ?, PC at another location ? e-sata external hard disks ?