We have a production 4.1.1 box that is acting as a mail server.  We are
wanting to beef this box up a bit for a little more survivability.

1) If we put in a newer hardware raid card does the os/kernel still need a
driver to see it? Or does a hardware raid solution eliminate the need for
any drivers. We are just a bit concerned due to our OS being a bit behind
and thinking that our raid options might be limited or very antiquated. I
realize that the original poster said that "Yes, the RAIDing is completely
transparent to the OS.", which confusing me as to why there is a supported
raid card list.

The kernel still needs to support the RAID card. I think the original poster refered to the RAID file system to be completely transparent to the OS contrary to software RAID where the kernel needs to handle all RAID functionality. When using a RAID card the card handles everything related to the RAID array (reading, syncin, rebuilding a replaced drive etc...).

2) Can a mirror be made out of an existing drive. I have heard the that the
Adaptec 2100A can make a mirror off of existing data, but alas this is not
supported by FreeBSD as they recommend the 2400A.

Yes, that's true. At least my cheap FastTrak TX2 offers the option of creating a RAID1 array using an existing disk. Unfurtunetly I don't have experience in how realible this rebuild is if the disk are completely different for example.



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