Farstrider, on 01 September 2012 - 21:51, said:
I'm quoting this but have long held the view that "software" raid is actually better than so called "hardware raid"!
"It’s a commonly held myth that hardware RAID is unconditionally better than software RAID. That claim is not true in all cases and is particularly wrong at the low end."
You seem to be reading a lot of FUD. I actually addressed a lot of this back in 2009
. Of course that statement isn't true in all cases - if you can't afford hardware RAID, it's not true. If you don't need hardware RAID, it's not true. It's great if your CPU can achieve 3 GB/s of ECC calculations - unless you need that memory bandwidth and CPU cycles to actually do something useful. But if all a system does is store data, then it is useful.
"Real" hardware RAID controllers perform the ECC calculations in dedicated hardware. "Real" hardware RAID controllers leverage hardware, firmware, and software to deliver features that will be unmatched in software RAID. A reasonable analogy for a layperson is dedicated vs. onboard (now onchip) graphics. Sure, onboard will give you a desktop, but dedicated will give you gaming!
Also, you're going to need drivers for hardware RAID cards just like you're going to need drivers for software RAID arrays. Drivers for hardware have just been historically easier to come by, but any Linux rescue CD worth the CD it's burned on should be able to activate and mount (if nothing else, read only) your fakeraid/software/hardware RAID arrays.
Sounds like what you need is something cheap, so either fakeraid or software RAID will be a good choice for you. Just be sure that you:
1. Document your configuration
2. Have a recovery procedure in the event a disk fails
3. Have a spare hard drive on hand or as a hot spare (preferably more than one)
4. Periodically verify the array to ensure the contents are correct
5. Perform regular, safe, and secure backups