Intel Matrix Storage Manager is a device driver that provides support for Serial ATA (SATA) RAID 5 arrays and SATA RAID 10 arrays on specific Intel 4 Series, 3 Series, 965, 975X, 955X and 945 chipset boards. The driver also provides AHCI support for some 9x based chipset boards as well as Mobile Intel 915/910 chipsets.
RAID (Redundant Array of Independent Disks) is a configuration of multiple physical hard-drives to form logical arrays and volumes. Operating Systems recognise this storage as a volume and not independent disks. The aim of RAID configuration is to provide fault tolerance without compromising on performance. RAID has different levels of configuration depending on the type of data-mirroring required and the number of physical disks intended to be employed.
The console can be viewed in two modes Basic and Advanced.
Basic Mode - shows a simplified view of the devices with an illustration of the RAID configuration. If there is a failure in the device, an option to switch to advanced mode is shown.
Advanced Mode - shows the detailed view of the system's devices as a combination of logical and physical entities. The logical view shows the formation of volumes or RAID partitions and the physical view shows the details of the hard-drives and their interconnection.
RAID levels 0,1,5 can be managed to mirror and recover data at failure points.
The Software is capable of displaying the information on RAID Array, RAID Volume, RAID Disks, Non-RAID-Drives, and SATA mode-ACHI configurations.
It also supports volume conversions from RAID 0,1 to 5, recovery and vice versa.
RAID cannot be configured on a system with a single drive or systems without RAID support . A compatibility matrix needs to be created by the user to make sure what would be best suitable for a system under consideration.
More information about the compatibility can be obtained at http://support.intel.com/support/chipsets/imsm/sb/CS-022304.htm