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    Motherboard RAID controller vs Controller Card


    I have an ASUS KFN4-DRE Server motherboard.

    I need to implement RAID-0.

    The server has RAID support but I would like to know why so many people go for the RAID Controller Cards, even when many motherboards offer RAID functionality.

    I guess controller cards are more sophisticated in most cases.

    For instance, how can I check if one of the disks has failed ?
    Do I have to boot the server and access the RAID controller BIOS ?

    I guess RAID controller cards provide OS software to check this without the need of reboot.

    Any ideas ?
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    A lot of quality (i.e., from Adaptec or Promise) RAID controller cards will come with software that lets you configure the RAID array via a GUI. It will also show you the health of the array, and allow you to configure email alerts to an email account if the software detects a problem with the array (i.e., a failed drive).

    Many people will use stand-alone RAID cards that use PCI-X or PCI-Express because it offsets a lot of the computing power onto the card and not the processor your PC uses. This increases disk read/write performance while not bogging down the system.

    If you're just running a PC for home use or fun, then onboard probably is fine.
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    OK.

    Also, let's say I get an Adaptec PCI-Express RAID controller card,
    What happens if the motherboard dies ?

    Can I replace the motherboard with any other, or does it has to be the same brand/model as the original ?

    This is one of the most critical issues, because normally you can't boot a drive in a different motherboard and it's very likely that the original motherboard couldn't be available anymore in the market at the time you face the problem.

    What I need is this:


    • Notification when a drive in the array fails
    • If the motherboard fails, put the disk array in a different motherboard (different brand/model) and boot without a problem.
    • 100% Hot swappable.
    • SATA II Compatible.
    • PCI Express 16x.
    • I just need only RAID-0, so a 2 port is enough for me.
    • Compatible with ASUS KFN4-DRE


    Any recommendation ?
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    Ok, well with RAID 0 you need to be careful. I would recommend that you keep a good backup solution in place. As you probably know, if one drive fails the array is broken.

    If you need high availability, and I'm not trying to sound crude by this, I would recommend you buy two of the same RAID cards and keep the same firmware on them (i.e., if you update one, update the other). This way if the card itself fails you have a backup that, in theory, you can attach the two drives to and there is a chance the array will work on its own without having to rebuild (although I've only seen this done on RAID 5 setups).

    I honestly can't speak to what will happen if the motherboard dies. You can try Googling that info or perhaps someone on here with more experience in this matter can chime in; sorry. I know some RAID controllers have cache on them that maintain a working memory of the array, so with those I would think the array could stay in tact.
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    Sorry, I mean RAID 1 (Mirrored Disk)

    I found this one:
    http://www.adaptec.com/en-US/products/Controllers/Hardware/sata/entry/AAR-1220SA/index.htm

    Seems that could fit my expectations. I just need to check the software functionality.
    Last edited by mysticav; May 14th, 2009 at 05:06 PM.
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    Should work out good for you.

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