I've been a reader of TH for years but just finally got around to registering in the forums.
My question is regarding using the onboard RAID of an Intel P35/IC9R chipset motherboard and future motherboard upgrades or any experiences with past chipsets upgrading to current onboard RAID chipsets.
If you have a RAID 5 configuration, are there any issues with replacing a motherboard with a different onboard RAID motherboard and having the drives and installed software recognized without any booting problems or loss of data? Would RAID 1 be a better/safer alternative for future upgrades?
Any and all insight on this would be greatly appreciated!
Can't speak for RAID 5 but I just upgraded from an nForce4 to a ICH9R with two RAID sets. Boot drives are RAID 0 so format was necessary there but the data drives were RAID 1. The problem that I had with the RAID 1 was that you had to create a raid "set" before you can rebuild from it...which means you nix both mirror drives trying to build the original set...killing the data on both drives. I backed up so it was no big deal...just a real big inconvenience. The only thing I hate is that building the mirror set in this fashion is that it puts both of your mirror drives "under the knife" at the same time (gives me a bad feeling). There may be a way to do this but its not very clear from the options in the Intel ICH9R hardware controller. I only imagine that RAID5 is a bigger pain.
This was my first experience migrating a RAID set and I'm not claiming that my method was foolproof. I only wish there was better/some documentation on this operation provided by the chipset manufacturers.
In the future I hope to have an external "offboard" RAID box that controls the RAID set separate from my system motherboard...eliminating this problem and allowing the RAID set to be moved between machines. There seem to be several external boxes available (from Thecus and SansDigital).
If you want to move a RAID array from system to system, you need to buy a controller card. That way you can move the card and drives without breaking the array. To go from 1 controller to another, or one motherboard to another without losing the array is nearly impossible.