Throttle The Disk I/O Rate: Limit disk I/O For rsync Tool on Linux and Unix

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I run a backup script called /root/ which runs rsync command. However, rsync makes a lot of disks I/O and network I/O. I would like to reduce both disk and network I/O. My server has 10Mbps server connection with 160GB SATA hard drive. How do I reduce disk I/O so that the entire system does not die or become unresponsive?