Limiting myself to PCI-card based RAID, IBM ServeRAID still rocks. Rebuilds quickly on the fly, while the system is running, automatically when you replace a disk, without any software interface at all. (I've done this on an IBM xSeries 345, replacing the built-in SCSI card--which isn't ServeRAID and can only do RAID 0 or 1--with a ServeRAID-4Lx, while the box was still in active Oracle production.) I've only used their control stuff from the BIOS; haven't needed any further interface with it and I've had four machines with ServeRAIDs in production for about a year now. But I also have 24/7 computer operators to page me if there are blinking amber lights, so maybe I'm not in the same place you are.
I try to avoid limiting myself to PCI-card based RAID, though. I've got about 7 TB (useable; 8.67 raw) worth of Xyratex
1 Gb fibre channel arbitrated loop (copper HSSDC connectors) that I'm basically happy with. They've been cranky from time to time, but if you treat them right they're fine (email my lj address if you want details on the history). Xyratex is frequently resold under other names. The use a Mylex DAC9600 for that array. I don't really have complaints about it... but it's a fibre channel controller pair (with seamless hardware failover between the two controllers, assuming you've got something like Veritas running on the host). I've been less-than-impressed with Mylex PCI SCSI cards.
I'm build-time away from playing with 3 (useable; 4 raw) TB of Zzyzx StingRAID
(which is actually a Infortrend dual active controller
pair set up at least, and probably really an Infortrend chassis
). It's als FC-AL, but 2 Gb using actual glass and LC connectors, and it uses SATA disk. From the conversations I've had with references Zzyzx provided, I expect to be basically content using it for backup staging and as disk on a NAS head (for which I'm using a Sun E450 running Solaris 9).
If you're in California and north or on the East Coast (can't speak for the middle time zones) Zzyzx
is a good storage reseller to go talk to. On the left coast, tell Chris P. that gr from PA (or email me and get my real name; not putting it here for don't-want-work-to-find-my-lj reasons) sent you. On the East Coast, tell Dave G. the same. They resell Xyratex for real FC-AL arrays (or they did the last time I checked) and they sell "their own" (which is actually rebranded Infortrend) and Nexsan
for serial (Infortrend) and parallel (Nexsan) ATA-behind-FC arrays. They also sell Overland
tape libraries (they make a good, gracefully expandable, LTO2 library; the Neo 4x00 line).
I just ranted about SAN/NAS stuff over in unixadmin
. This is the condensed version of those posts.