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I have a software RAID card with a SIL3124 chipset. (This one).

As you configure the RAID via BIOS, is it possible to use this card with 3 disks (RAID 5) with any OS without installing any driver on that OS? (I'd like to use it with ESXi 5.5).

I don't understand what software RAID cards are, and what makes them different from just plugging 3 disks on the motherboard and setting a software RAID on my Linux distro.

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What have you tried so far? –  Drew Khoury Nov 27 '13 at 8:28
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While some OS might have the driver for that card built into the kernel, it is generally a bad idea to use these controllers, there's a good reason they are known as "fakeraid". If you can't afford a proper raid controller with it's own processing, cache and a BBU, just use software raid in the OS - the disks will be transferrable and hardware independent, while with fakeraid, there are no real advantages, besides having raid configuration in a separate menu instead of the OS

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Thanks, that's what I was afraid of... Is it possible to create a software RAID with ESXi (like I would do with a LVM on a Linux OS)? –  user200651 Nov 26 '13 at 22:01
    
communities.vmware.com/thread/460033 this is about using fakeraid under ESXi. As for software raid using ESXi itself - the answer is no. One thing you can do if you want to have your VMs in a redundant-ish configuration is simply have two disks, with two local datastores and two virtual disks assigned to every VM, then use software raid inside the VM to mirror the virtual disks. Silly solution, but it can work. I personally would simply use a normal hypervisor that doesn't limit the base OS, namely KVM –  dyasny Nov 26 '13 at 22:22
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