By large file tree I mean about 200k files, and growing all the time. A relatively small number of files are being changed in any given hour though.
By bidirectional I mean that changes may occur on either server and need to be pushed to the other, so rsync doesn't seem appropriate.
By distant I mean that the servers are both in data centers, but geographically remote from each other. Currently there are only 2 servers, but that may expand over time.
By real-time, it's ok for there to be a little latency between syncing, but running a cron every 1-2 minutes doesn't seem right, since a very small fraction of files may change in any given hour, let alone minute.
EDIT: This is running on VPS's so I might be limited on the kinds of kernel-level stuff I can do. Also, the VPS's are not resource-rich, so I'd shy away from solutions that require lots of ram (like Gluster?).
What's the best / most "accepted" approach to get this done? This seems like it would be a common need, but I haven't been able to find a generally accepted approach yet, which was surprising. (I'm seeking the safety of the masses. :)
I've come across lsyncd to trigger a sync at the filesystem change level. That seems clever though not super common, and I'm a bit confused by the various lsyncd approaches. There's just using lsyncd with rsync, but it seems this could be fragile for bidirectionality since rsync doesn't have a notion of memory (eg- to know whether a deleted file on A should be deleted on B or whether it's a new file on B that should be copied to A). lipsync appears to be just a lsyncd+rsync implementation, right?
Then there's using lsyncd with csync2, like this: http://www.axivo.com/community/threads/lightning-fast-synchronization-with-csync2-and-lsyncd.121/ ... I'm leaning towards this approach, but csync2 is a little quirky, though I did do a successful test of it. I'm mostly concerned that I haven't been able to find a lot of community confirmation of this method.
People on here seem to like Unison a lot, but it seems that it is no longer under active development and it's not clear that it has an automatic trigger like lsyncd.
I've seen Gluster mentioned, but maybe overkill for what I need?
UPDATE: fyi- I ended up going with the original solution I mentioned: lsyncd+csync2. It seems to work quite well, and I like the architectural approach of having the servers be very loosely joined, so that each server can operate indefinitely on its own regardless of the link quality between them.