National EMSC Data Analysis Resource Center
The simple answer is: it depends.
A common question that arises after you've decided on a software data collection method is, what kind of equipment do I need? The simple answer is: it depends.
Whenever you invest in a software program, you should always read the "system requirements." For example, click here to see a snapshot of the system requirements for Microsoft® Access.
If you are serious about data collection for the long term, invest in hardware that exceeds the minimum system requirements. The list of system requirements is usually the very minimum you need in order to run the software application.
Before you make any purchases, consult with other professionals who specialize in database systems (such as network specialists) and find out the kind of hardware setup they recommend. Contact NEDARC for more information.
Make sure that any system you invest in has a way to backup the data you've collected on a regular basis - nightly or weekly. This could be a tape backup system, a rack of additional hard drives, etc. This is a necessity! Data is often lost because it was never backed-up.
Funding is usually the bottom line. How much can you spend? What is the most important costs for your project? Do your homework.
Consult: Lessons Learned > EMS Hardware for some feedback from other states' experiences with selecting hardware.