I am currently backing up the media server of NowPublic.com. We are talking millions of files, and terabytes of data. This a rather interesting task. If you try to "tar" the files together and then copy, that wont lead to anything good, just tarring up is days. Not to mention total lack of feedback... strace -p pid where pid is of the tarring process does not count as feedback in my books. Starting rsync to copy to somewhere else eats all physical RAM, then the swap then crashes and this was just the building the file list part (and yes I tried both latest 2.x and 3.x versions).