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In a software raid environment, is HBA failure the same as a hardware RAID controller failure? Do you still have to find the same model HBA to put into a different server in order for the drives to work without re-configuration or restore?

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Not quite. In software RAID, the "assembly instructions" are kept on the disk devices themselves - the HBA has no function other than to create the path from the kernel to the disk device. You would have to have the same drives to put the array back together, but you wouldn't necessarily have to have the same model HBA.

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To be more precise: software RAID allows you enormous flexibility moving drives to another server. –  Halfgaar Nov 11 '13 at 20:13

No. You can just replace it with any controller that exports the disks as single devices to the system.

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