I am planning a build for a personal backup server; building essentially a NAS that I would install backup utilities on. I want to run Ubuntu Server as the OS, and am hoping for around 5-6 individual drives (2TB+ each) for primary data storage. I am assuming I will utilize RAID (5 or 10), but I am open to other similar solutions if they are better.

The point of this server is long term, reliable storage and ease of recovery on failure (ideally just swap a part out, with minimal other work).

As I am still in the planning stage, I am just trying to figure out a plan on the best way to accomplish this.

What I need to have cleared up:

The motherboard I am looking at has 4 SATA III ports, which I am planning to use for the OS storage. I am looking around for a PCI Express 3x16 compatible SATA Controller. What I am not sure about is this:

  • Have the SATA controller handle the RAID configuration or the OS? I have heard that it is best to let Linux handle this. Is that true? Is there an easy to use utility used to set RAID (or similar system) up?
  • Based on the answer above, will any SATA controller work for my purposes, or is there something to look out for?

Sorry if this is a little off topic, I was not sure exactly where to put this. Thanks in advance for anything that points me in the right direction.


Always use hardware RAID if you can afford it as a software RAID might give OS compatibility problems... (Dual-boot with Windows, Using a boot CD to repair your system, ...)

Use RAID5: write speed is a bit slower then the disks all by themselves, but read speed is superior.

As to which controller: buy the most expensive one your budget allows you to buy and don't buy any unknown Crap! Inc! Cheap-o-RAID ones and stay with major brand names.

That should not make this answer too much off-topic ;-)

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