i want to backup 600 GB of data in other partition in same server. what should i use? tar/copy?i want to preserver same permissions/ soft links etc.
The best method with the large amount of data would be to use rsync ... http://www.mombu.com/gnu_linux/mandriva/t-using-rsync-to-maintain-backup-copy-of-a-partition-1742106.html. Using rsync you can use it to do version updates to keep the images cloned.
Let me correct myself, "rsync" is the way to go. "cp" only copies files, you will have to specify the files directly. "cp" can still be useful if you only want to backup certain files and not the entire drive. All you have to do is just include the files you want to copy and space them.
Example: file1 file2 file3 etc
Using this method has potential of speed improvement.