I am, since years, using Intel Rapid Storage RAID (onboard RAID) to add RAID5 redundancy to my data. Up to now, everything work just wonderfully fine, the performance are quite surprising and since it is managed by the chipset itself, processing is directly handled between the cpu and the chipset without any software involved processing.
The only bad thing is that when i want to migrate all the data to another machine, the host OS wich contains the file sharing already configured may loose all the shares and configuration when migrating the system to new hardware platform.
Since windows 7 and windows 2008 and up can do software raid, (even with multiple usb flash drive, yes), I had the idea to build my file server and all it’s shares inside a virtual machine, to create 3 virtual hard drives of 2tb on 3 different physical hard drive and to mount them all in the virtual machine and then ask to the windows inside the box to process the RAID 5. Of course, i am excepting a much lower performance but since my main goal is not ultra performance but ease of migration and maintenance, this new approach will be really interesting. Another interesting point is that no special hardware is requiered to mount the raid, simply connect the 3 hard drives to any computer, no matter the interface you use, usb or sata. Load the virtual machine with the file sharing system and mount the 3 drives in it and you’ll have access to your raid data in vacation on your laptop if you want.
I’ll let you know how the process has gone when i’ll do it. Should do that quickly since it’s becoming urgent to migrate my data to a new more flexible system.