I'm building a linux traffic shaping routing box for a leased line connection. This box has to be reliable, so I'm planning on installing the operating system and data files on a RAID 1 configuration. My question is twofold:
I was going to use linux software raid. I have heard that hardware RAID really only gives any significant benefits once you shell out for a good quality RAID card - with a battery backup at least. I'm not too concerned with speed - I won't be using the disks much at all, but I am concerned with data recovery in case of an accident. Is shelling out for a hardware raid card worth the price? If so, can anyone recommend a card to use?
I've been in the situation before where hard disks bought at the same time failed at roughly the same time as well - i.e., within a week of each other. In order to avoid this, I'd like to populate my RAID array with disks from different manufacturers. As long as the disk sizes, speeds, and cache sizes are the same, can anyone see a problem with this?