After having gone through a number of trials and tribulations, I think I finally have the hardware for the Ten Ton Tabulator sorted out. That's the name I finally gave to the 12 TB backup server I bought recently, mainly because its the heaviest computer I've ever owned, and the heaviest that the store has ever sold. The dang thing must weight 50+ Kg.
Now that it seems to provide reliable storage (two raid 6s) I just need to make USE of the damn thing. In the long run, this is likely to cause me to upgrade my internal network to gigabit speeds, otherwise it will take *forever* to backup all the house systems.
For the moment I am testing things out with an "easy" case: backing up my main computer and laptop. Only this turns out to be far from easy, as I seem to have 4 not-necessarily exclusive categories that a file might want to be in:
1) Junk or System files that I don't really need or want backed up.
2) Files that I just want backed up.
3) Files that I want to share between all OS's on a given machine
4) Files that I want to sync between different machines.
Seeing as my laptop runs 3 different OSes (Gentoo for customizability, Ubuntu 10.04 LTS for work, and Win7 for games), while my Desktop runs 6 at last count (my dev environment plus one each of the target distros for my work software), and there are a large number of development files that need to be sync'ed between my laptop and dev system, especially when I'm on a business trip, it all gets kinda... messy.
So right now I'm going through my desktop and my laptop and moving files around so that they are in folders that make the above classifications clear, so that I can setup automated backup and sync services. This involves a large amount of reconfiguring software, as things move around, and in some cases rebooting a number of times to ensure that the software in every OS I run agrees on where the files have been moved to. Oy.