rsync: A Backup Strategy for Modern Times

    Date27 Jan 2003
    3772
    Posted ByAnthony Pell
    The use of hard drives for backups is outpacing other forms of backup media by a country mile. The largest IDE drive available right now is 200 gigabytes (Western Digital's Drivezilla, which gets my vote for best name). Tape backup has . . . The use of hard drives for backups is outpacing other forms of backup media by a country mile. The largest IDE drive available right now is 200 gigabytes (Western Digital's Drivezilla, which gets my vote for best name). Tape backup has valiantly attempted to keep pace. Tape autoloaders, holding up to 1.4 terabytes, and 100/200 gigabyte capacity tapes, are some of the modern tape storage options.

    There's a new kid on the backup software block: rsync. rsync was originally designed to replace rcp, the venerable old Unix remote copy program. Because of its sophisticated means of synchronizing and transferring file trees, rsync is widely used for mirroring Web sites. rsync transfers only the changes in files, using the devilishly clever rsync algorithm. It calculates diffs without needing both files to be present. This little bit of magic is described in the documentation accompanying the program (for those interested in such). rsync then does on-the-fly compression, making network file transfers very fast and efficient.

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