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File Backup And Synchronization

In my previous post I had mentioned that I was looking for a backup/file synchronization tool.
I don't think Git is it and neither is dropbox. Both these are useful in that they are format transparent, which most database software is not. But what they are lacking is a way to deal with a large variety of file and folder hierarchies and seamlessly compress without losing transparency and semantic meaning.
So here is my list of requirements from a backup tool:
  1. Preserves any time-stamp information, even conflicting
  2. Distributed (decentralized)
  3. Minimizes redundant data
  4. Preserves hierarchies for semantic meaning
  5. Hides hierarchy clutter
  6. Preserves every bit of metadata, even if it's not explicit
  7. Accessible and platform neutral
  8. Makes data integrity paramount
It may seem like I have requirements that conflict with each other, but I will try to explain what I mean. I have loaded four of my backup CD's onto my laptop. I know there are duplicate files and I know there are time-stamps that disagree with one another.
I want to be able to view these files in a number of ways:
  • In their original on-disk hierarchy.
  • By file type, date, tags or physical description.
And I want to be able to synchronize all or part of these folders between machines, in addition to making zip/tar archive of them to a backup machine.
Any suggestions, or shall I start coding?

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