Backup is always an important chore for a webmaster. Recently I started to use rsync to backup important files between my servers. I don’t backup the code base since they are already in CVS. I mainly backup the database and some other user generated content, such as uploaded images, etc.
The database content was first dumped into a file using msqldump utility by cron job, and later on another cron job will call rsync to sync with another server, which can be accessed through SSH.
So far this has been working great. The next step will be setting up script to periodically rsync the configuration files such as httpd.conf, my.cnf … so changes won’t get lost in case the server failure or migration.