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Review: Mirra Personal Server

Mirra's Personal Server is a dedicated application server designed specifically for the small business or small office. The device, which comes in 80-, 120-, and 250-gigabyte models, is intended to provide automatic file backup, file sharing, remote access to files, and file synchronization -- functions that often prove difficult for offices without resident technical staff.

Simple Setup
The Mirra Server is a PC, but the only cables you connect to it are the power cable and the Ethernet connection, which keeps the system simple to set up. I attached both cables and pushed the power button. After a few seconds, my Mirra produced a few happy chirping sounds indicating it was online and ready to do its work.

The Mirra client application needs to be installed on any local PCs that will be accessing the Mirra. The client software supports only the more recent versions of Microsoft Windows -- Windows XP (both Home and Professional), Windows 2000 (Pro and Server edition), and Windows 2003 Server -- so be sure the computers you intend to connect are running one of these operating systems.

Setting up the Mirra client software is simple. A wizard steps you through the process of identifying the folders you want to back up. Keep in mind that Mirra's backup is not a full system backup, and is not intended to be used for disaster recovery purposes. It's meant to save your important files to a safe place.

On my desktop PC, I selected the entire My Documents folder and my Outlook data file (Outlook.pst) since that's where the majority of my data lives. I chose the Outlook file as a good test since I almost never close that program, meaning its data file is skipped over by most backup applications.

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