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I'm planning to migrate a Zimbra server with about 200 GB of data from a server hosted in an office into a datacentre, to increase uptime (we've had a couple of outages when our network here started flaking out, and we have people in other countries relying on this server too).

However, I'm not sure how best to migrate the data into the data centre without rendering the connection unusable during office hours, because there's far too much to send in over night over the 2 Mbit/s upstream connection we have here.

I'm familiar with using tools like nice to stop a long running process degrading machine performance - is there a simple way to throttle a connection between office hours, so the long running transfer doesn't block the pipe, but then opens up outside of office hours to make the most of the bandwidth?

I'm aware the alternative here is to simply mail a hard drive to the data centre, but I'd like to avoid doing that if I could.

We're using CentOS Linux for our servers, in the office and the datacentre, so extra points for an open source Linux answer.

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rsync can throttle bandwidth. You should also be able to run in at 9am throttled, stop it at 5pm, start it unthrottled and it should pick up where it stopped without much trouble.

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I've migrated a server like this (although it was less data, it was on a slow link). Use the --partial options etc to make it go better. Once the data is all there, shut down and re-sync, and then start up on the new system. –  David Fraser Sep 1 '10 at 14:50

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