I am building a 1U server that is going to run Suse Enterprise Linux 10 SP2. This server has 3 hot-swap drive bays and on-board Intel RAID (fake RAID). Linux does not appear to support these RAID devices and due to certain add-on cards that I MUST have, I do not have room for a hardware RAID card.
I want to know how best to setup a linux software RAID 5 on 3 separate disk. As I write this I am testing a 3 drive setup in VMWare Workstation 6.5 and it appears to be working. However, I was warned that I did not create a swap partition and that the "/" (root) file system was on a software RAID array and may not boot. I also worry that the lack of a swap partition may cause performance issues. Speed is a serious issue for us.
My goals are to be able to use the 3 drives for redundancy and be able to easily replace them if a failure occurs. In order to achieve that, how should I setup my partitions?