XenServer has a rather limited installer. This means setting up Software Raids and stuff is not so simple, but doable. I have found several posts on the net describing how to install XenServer on Software RAID.
First attempt: Failure to communicate
My first attempt ended up with hardware issues. I have a Promise EX8350 PCI Express card and wanted to use this in my current Gigabyte GA-EP45-UD3LR motherboard. This did not end well. The mainboard does not want to boot with the RAID controller in the PCIx slot (yes, I changed the BIOS setting to start PCI graphics as primary). I tried several BIOS version of the mainboard, bt no luck.
The hunt for hardware
I started looking around for a new mainboard and found a perfect card. ASUS P5Q Premium. this card is built for virtualization :-). It has 4Gigabit ethernet ports, 4 PCIExpress ports, and much more.. I have read comments about this card and people claim that you do not need 4NICs. Well if you want to use it for virtualization, 4 ports can be very handy. If you for instance have a iSCSI NAS. this NAS can then run on its own gigabit NICs, which is preferred to maintain speed. As for my setup I am only going to use 2 for now. One for internal servers and one for DMZ servers.
The HW configuration
Here is the configuration I ended up with. (this all seems to work in XenServer 5.5)
* ASUS P5Q Premium motherboard
* 8GB DDR2 PC6400 RAM
* Promise EX8350 RAID controller
* Gainward GeForce8400GS for console :-)
* 4 250GB Maxtor 6L250S0 in a RAID10
* 4 1TB SAMSUNG HD103UJ in a RAID5
the next step is the installation and configuration of XenServer...