moving an array between 2 computers: software vs. hardware

I will be setting up a win 2003 server with raid 5. Disk performance is not as important to me as data security, and this box will be dedicated to raid storage, so software raid is definitely an option for me.

My question is, which implementation of raid, software or hardware, is most easily recovered in the event of a failure. Examples I can think of are mother board or controller failure for a hardware raid, and OS drive failure for a software raid.

In the event of a failure, will it be easier to find a compatible hardware controller? Or is it easier to recover a software raid (assuming same OS and same raid software).

And, has anyone ever had to do this with an array created by win 2003?
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  1. I manage servers and we NEVER run software raid. I guess the reasoning behind this is that the operating system is responsible for writing to the disk in stripes and if there is ever a problem with the OS it can affect the software RAID.

    We run hardware raid exclusively. In my 10 years of doing the job, I have yet to see a raid controller or motherboard fail in any of our servers. Home computers is another story.

    I had a RAID0 set on an Abit KD7 board and the board burnt up. Luckily I had another board with the same raid manufacturer where I could access my data.

    My recommendation would be to invest in a well known, established company such as Adaptec or LSI raid card. If the card ever fails you can easily acquire a new card and recreate the raid on the card and access your data.

    ---------->we run win2003 servers....still no software raid.
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