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what is the best way to backup my server? it has 500gb of data - most of it never changes (photos, videos) so only needs to be downloaded once. At the moment i do big tar.gz's and download them manually. takes forever.

i have heard about rsync - what is this like? i prefer to download it at the weekend too so i need to be able to start & stop

any ideas?

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What OS we are talking about here? What is your bandwidth? 500 GB is a lot of data and even with 10 Mbps you won't be able to make it over the weekend. Just an simple idea: if at all possible, you may save yourself some time by using external drive and then rsync to update. – grs May 12 '11 at 2:29

RSync is ideally suited to this type of task.


Additionally, one of the beauties of RSync is that you can use it repeatedly over time to update your backup with only the changes -- both copies will be synchronized, but you'll consume a lot less bandwidth to transfer only the updated files (and this helps to keep both your costs and time requirements down).

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+1 - And rsync was designed for operating over networks so it is tolerant to stopping and starting. – Mike Fitzpatrick May 12 '11 at 2:34
1. The first copy will indeed take forever, the alternative is to make do it physically rather than remotely. 2. RSyinc will not only limit the transfer to the updated files, it will also restrict to the parts of the big files that actually changed. 3. It is really robust. You can stop and restart later, it quickly skips the sync'ed files and goes to the hard work. If all is up to date, it takes a few seconds to check and skip everything. 4. If you want to make changes locally and see them reflected on the server, try Unison, which is a very smart two-way sync that uses RSync behind the scene. – user39559 May 12 '11 at 12:58

On the office side:

  • Open port 873 to the rsync server.
  • Find out your rsync folder name.
  • Go home.

At home:

  • Windows
  • Open port 873
  • Install Cygwin packages and include rsync.

rsync command:

  • rsync --help
  • rsync -R source dest
  • rsync -R /cygdrive/c/

Then wait …

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