If you've ever used BackupAssist to run an rsync job to a remote NAS device, you may be familiar with the built in 'seed' function. This bypasses the need to run a large backup for the first time over the network and instead uses a USB hard drive to move the data manually. After the seed job has completed, the drive is disconnected from the BackupAssist server and plugged directly into whatever is performing the role of the rsync server. Often it's a NAS device, but I also talk to customers who choose to run either a Linux server which has native rsync support or even a Windows box using the free open source CWRsync service.