So it was time to replace the home Mac Mini, it had done sterling work as the main home machine serving as a home for all of our photos, music and used for general surfing, but it was certainly slowing down, the upgrade to Snow Leopard had gone well and helped prolong its life but the signs were there, time for something new and shiny.
The Mini was sitting on top of 2 x 1Tb Iomega Minimax drives which gave a useful number of extra USB boots and made for a neat tower / shrine. One drive was data the other was the time machine backup, but things had moved on, I now had a QNAP TS-439 with 4 x 2Tb (1863Gb Actual) drives installed and configured as RAID 6 (3664Gb usable) so there was plenty of storage to be had and the potential ability to recover from two drives failing.
I configured a number of iSCSI targets and using the Studio Solutions GlobalSAN iSCSI initiator connected up. This was a very simple, one minutes process and having done the same under Windows using the MicroSoft iSCSI initiator I know which I’d prefer to use in future.
I copied the data across into the relevant targets, music, photos and then setup backup using time machine to do the applications, user account and everything else other than the music and pics. To ensure everything worked I quickly re-opened iTunes and iPhoto and changed the library to the iSCSI targets, all was working lovely. Time taken to setup, 10 minutes, time to copy the data about 4 hours in total.
Now the migration, shut down the mac mini, spend an hour moving all the kit around and tidying up the wires and then for the moment of truth. Fire up the new mac, register and ignore the migration assistant for now. Once the mac is running I downloaded the initiator and installed, setup the connections to the iSCSI targets, open iPhoto and iTunes and point the applications to the iSCSI data and all was good. Just the application migration to go.
I opened up the ever so handy OSX Migration Assistant, pointed it at the time machine backup and recovered the old account data and applications on to the machine as a new account, logged out, logged in as the recovered account and the migration was done.
Work done, about 10 minutes, time taken 5 hours of data transfer backwards and forwards.
Job done, no problems and no fuss, technology as it should be.