So if you have raid configured on your server – did you configure it through the operating system or through the bios? If you did it through windows it will be software. If it was done via the bios of the scsi card then it will be hardware.
Minimizing downtime is very tricky and some steps would include do not install garbage or unknown software. Install WSUS for auto updates and have a good antivirus/anti spyware package running.
*** Improved by Wrobinson on 02/08/08 ***
You configure hardware RAID on the firmware of a RAID controller. If there is a hardware RAID controller present, you can review the configuration using the software that came with it. Typically, you can configure and review the configuration of a RAID controller by pressing the correct key combination while the computer is booting. Alternatively, some server vendors supply bootable CDs/DVDs that alow you to configure the server. The tools on the CD/DVD can be used in this way or after the computer boots. If the software is installed in the OS, you can also check it this way.
RAID is configured for Windows using Disk Management. So if RAID is configured in this manner, it will appear here; however, I am not sure if using a third-party utility if such a configuration will present in Disk Management because the software might abstract this from the OS.
Minimizing downtime is indeed tricky. Though it is recommended that all service packs, updates and hotfixes be installed promptly, doing so can also lead to downtime. Updates of any kind should be thoroughly tested in a lab before depoying in production. The best course of action would be to have a development lab where the updates are installed to see if they have an adverse reaction and if not, they are deployed to test where they are further tested in an environment that mirrors production as much as possible and finally, they should be deployed on a limited or pilot basis in production prior to rolling them out in full.
Some keys for minimizing downtime include:
Physically securing the server
Restricting who can log on to the server interactively and remotely
Installing only required applications
Install an anti-virus program, configure it properly and make sure it is up to date
-Not only does this mean performing on-access and regular full scans but also excluding recommended files and folders (see What Anti-Virus scanning exclusions should be considered for system and servers).
Regularly check the event logs and troubleshoot/resolve any errors and warnings
-Though some of these may seem harmless, the process of generating these errors and warnings consume system resources that can lead to a memory leak and cause the server to crash
Monitor system performance and take corrective actions as necessary
Also, update drivers and firmware, though the same rules as service packs and other updates still apply