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rsync on maildir

I am using rsync to backup mail on a mail-server with 3000+ mail
accounts [only 1550+ are in use]. Using this command:

/usr/bin/rsync -a --delete /var/imap/mailarray /var/oldarray 

This mail server only receives about 2GB of mail per day. Rsync is run
without shutting down any services.

About half the time I run rsync the system slows down to the point that
mon starts sending me pages. To fix it, I have to log in, and kill the rsync

Is there a more efficient way to run rsync without down time ?

Or should I be using something else for backups ?

After the last failure I ran rsync in dry-run mode and I got this error:
imap:~# /usr/bin/rsync -axn --delete /var/imap/mailarray /var/oldarray -T
/tmp --timeout=10
building file list ... 
rsync: writefd_unbuffered failed to write 4092
bytes: phase "send_file_entry": Broken pipe
rsync error: error in rsync protocol data stream (code 12) at io.c(515)

imap:~$ rsync --version
rsync  version 2.5.6  protocol version 26

file-system ext3:
#system file-system and mail backup
/dev/sda5 on /var/oldarray type ext3 (rw,noexec,nosuid,nodev) []

#mail storage
/dev/sdc5 on /var/imap type ext3 (rw,noexec,nosuid,nodev,usrquota) []

Ted Knab
Chester, MD 21619


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