• United States


Apr 26, 20043 mins

Serving media files for SMB networkers

Mirra Mountain View, Calif.

Location:Mountain View, Calif.

Company name: The founders chose Mirra because it suggests a mirror and sight. They wanted a name that connotes always up-to-date.

How did the company start?: Founded in May 2002 by Tim Bucher, who was one of the original members of the WebTV engineering team and former vice president of consumer products at Microsoft. Bucher wanted to create a digital content management server for the small office/home office crowd.

Funding: $11.2 million, including a $8-million second round that closed in March.

CEO: Richard Mandeberg, who is an experienced executive at vendors of digital content software and services. Most recently, he was CEO of iQCommerce.

Product: Mirra Personal Server 1.1.

Serving media files for SMB networkersAs consumers, mobile workers and small-office managers watch their digital data grow in volume and value each day, they have three wishes. They want their data files backed up reliably and automatically. They want to access that data from anywhere safely and easily. And they want a secure way to share access to specific data.

The Mirra Personal Server grants all three wishes. The unique network appliance automatically and continuously backs up files on the home network, saving up to eight versions. Because the box is connected to Mirra’s servers, users can log on to the Mirra Web site to gain access to the data back on their own server. Users also can share access to target files on the server, and send alerts of the data’s availability via e-mail.

Plenty of products provide one of these features, but none offer all three, or even two. For backup, products such as Maxtor One Touch that back up a single PC requires users to push a button to back up and overwrite previous file versions. For remote access, products such as GoToMyPC provide access to a remote desktop, but not to network data. And you can share files via an FTP server, but the notion is daunting to novice users. Technical users can cobble together their own Mirra-like product, but that would be costly. The Mirra 80G-byte version costs $399; the 120G-byte version costs $499.

Launched last fall, Mirra is available at and select Best Buy stores. The company says many of its first customers are digital photography hobbyists, financial advisers, consultants, real estate brokers, eBay merchants and healthcare professionals.

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