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Mirra Back Up Server -



arekaydee - Thu, 11 Nov 2004 01:41:30 +0530
I recently got the Mirra backup server for the office I work at and it turns out to be working quite well. If you live or work in a multiple Windows computer networked environment, I highly recommend it.

The set up is ridiculously easy, just plug it, turn it on and install the client on your computer. After goiing through the simple set up wizard, select which file and folders you want to back up. Once set it will back up any changes in realtime. If you have a broadband connection, you are able to set up an account on the Mirra site so that you can access or share files remotely - certainly a nice feature. Make changes while away from home or the office? Upload them to the server and they will be there when you get back or for other to access while you are away.

Right now, it's for Windows only, which is kind of bummer. I keep pestering them for a Mac and Linux client. And maybe if you're lucky like me, they will goof and send you the 250GB model when you only ordered the 80GB model. wink.gif
DharmaChakra - Thu, 11 Nov 2004 02:15:16 +0530
QUOTE(arekaydee @ Nov 10 2004, 04:11 PM)
I recently got the Mirra backup server for the office I work at and it turns out to be working quite well. If you live or work in a multiple Windows computer networked environment, I highly recommend it.

The set up is ridiculously easy, just plug it, turn it on and install the client on your computer. After goiing through the simple set up wizard, select which file and folders you want to back up. Once set it will back up any changes in realtime. If you have a broadband connection, you are able to set up an account on the Mirra site so that you can access or share files remotely - certainly a nice feature. Make changes while away from home or the office? Upload them to the server and they will be there when you get back or for other to access while you are away.

Right now, it's for Windows only, which is kind of bummer. I keep pestering them for a Mac and Linux client. And maybe if you're lucky like me, they will goof and send you the 250GB model when you only ordered the 80GB model. wink.gif


These type of boxes have been floating around for a while (I remember demo'ing one from IOmega a few years ago), but I think the low cost of large disks is finally going to bring this type of item to larger popularity.

Just out of curiosity, does it do any kind of RAID for data protection? (I didnt see anything on the web page.. its all well & good until one disk in your gigantic stripe set fails...)

I'm also suprised there has been no Linux distro designed to do this (ala SmoothWall for firewalls). Really, its a basic box, , file sharing protocols, a few drives and the option for software RAID.. I would imagine setup could be extremely automated...
DharmaChakra - Thu, 11 Nov 2004 02:24:25 +0530
QUOTE(DharmaChakra @ Nov 10 2004, 04:45 PM)
Just out of curiosity, does it do any kind of RAID for data protection? (I didnt see anything on the web page.. its all well & good until one disk in your gigantic stripe set fails...)


To answer my own question:
QUOTE(Mirra FAQ)
Q. Is Mirra a RAID device?
A. No. Mirra uses a single drive and backs up data by making a full copy from your PC. Mirra is a "virtual RAID" device in the sense that it contains a mirror of your data. You always have two copies of your data: the original copy on your PCs hard drive and a mirrored copy on your Mirra.

This bothers me... the device is basically an extra HDD with a synching client...

Arekaydee, mind if you tell me how much you paid for it?
arekaydee - Thu, 11 Nov 2004 02:29:08 +0530
QUOTE(DharmaChakra @ Nov 10 2004, 04:45 PM)
These type of boxes have been floating around for a while (I remember demo'ing one from IOmega a few years ago), but I think the low cost of large disks is finally going to bring this type of item to larger popularity.

Just out of curiosity, does it do any kind of RAID for data protection? (I didnt see anything on the web page.. its all well & good until one disk in your gigantic stripe set fails...)

I'm also suprised there has been no Linux distro designed to do this (ala SmoothWall for firewalls). Really, its a basic box, , file sharing protocols, a few drives and the option for software RAID.. I would imagine setup could be extremely automated...


Right. No RAID just a single drive. I don't consider this a serious backup solution as drives are more apt to go bad than tape, but then tape also has it's own inherent problems. I think it's great for a home network or small office. I got it for a quick and easy way to back up desktops (only about 15) in the office, which I don't care that much about. All of our vital files go on our "real" server and gets a regular tape back up. I remember the Iomega box and recall it getting bad reviews. I'm just waiting for that company to tank. It's had such a hard time since the downfall of Zip and Jazz drives.

The lack of a linux client is strange as I remember reading somewhere that it runs on some sort of linux os. I'm sure it wouldn't be that hard to develop one. Perhaps they don't think there is much a market for a Linux/Mac client.
arekaydee - Thu, 11 Nov 2004 02:39:49 +0530
QUOTE(DharmaChakra @ Nov 10 2004, 04:54 PM)
This bothers me... the device is basically an extra HDD with a synching client...

Arekaydee, mind if you tell me how much you paid for it?



I bought it direct from Mirra, so the $399 USD they have listed on their site, but as I said before they sent the 250GB model instead of the 80GB.

If you are a tech savvy person, when you think about it, it's not really a big deal. For an inexperienced user I can imagine it is a godsend. The user can set whatever they choose to be backed up either by using the client or a right-click contextual menu. I do like the feature of being able to access it via the web.

It has already proved useful for an accidentally erased file at our office. Is it fool proof? No. But it is better than nothing and most home users do not back up at all and home users are basically who this is targeted for.
Madhava - Thu, 11 Nov 2004 04:25:33 +0530
What exactly is the difference between this and a regular file server? Is this smaller or real neat in some other way? It really seems like the only difference is that it's easier to set up, and also that it is much more restricted in its usage.

QUOTE
Q. How is the Mirra Personal Server different from other servers?
A. Unlike traditional file servers, which can be difficult to administer and maintain, the Mirra Personal Server is easy to set up and does not require any ongoing administration or additional operating system or application software. Mirra is a much more affordable solution than a traditional file server.

Mirra does not appear on your network as an accessible network drive and cannot be used for direct storage. Simply install Mirra software on each PC and it automatically discovers and configures your PC for Mirra backup and file sharing.

So 1) I wouldn't say setting up a file server is that hard, 2) nor does it really require that much administration if that's really all you use it for, like you'd use Mirra, 3) you can wrap up a simple server with a 80GB drive for around $400, and the cost for added storage costs just that, one more hard drive, 4) it should be possible to configure just about any server to not appear as an accessible network drive etc.

All this really looks like to me is a regular box with some custom software. The fact that you can't upgrade the hard drive if in need of more space is a bit of a bummer. Also, I don't see how the prices of the different versions are justified, as the price difference between a 80GB and a 120GB hard drive is practically negligible, and between them and a 250GB only in the $50-$100 range.

I couldn't find any specs on what's inside one of those Mirra things, what kind of CPU, how much RAM etc.

The resell value of a file server vs. Mirra, should you decide to get rid of it, is much better, since the value of Mirra shrinks incrementally as hard drive sizes grow, and as you can't upgrade the disk or any given individual part inside unlike in the server.

How big is this thing anyway, and how noisy -- two key considerations when I think what I'd like to have sitting next to me here. There isn't a single picture there that would clarify the exact size of the server.
Madhava - Thu, 11 Nov 2004 04:47:29 +0530
Found it in the user manual -- 30cm x 25cm x 14cm, weight 7 kg. The dimensions seem reasonable, though certainly not slick, but the weight is a bit of a surprise. Arekaydee, how noisy is this thing?
arekaydee - Thu, 11 Nov 2004 05:20:34 +0530
QUOTE(Madhava @ Nov 10 2004, 07:17 PM)
Found it in the user manual -- 30cm x 25cm x 14cm, weight 7 kg. The dimensions seem reasonable, though certainly not slick, but the weight is a bit of a surprise. Arekaydee, how noisy is this thing?



I think it's a fairly quiet machine. I have it in a rack and shut down my servers momentarily to see (something I can do when everyone goes home). I have a 24 port gigabit switch in the rack next to it that seems to make more noise than the Mirra server does.

Actually half the box is empty, even though it is not big to begin with, about half the size of a standard desktop. The empty space there is a door where a CD/DVD drive would normally go. Definitely an off the shelf box and nothing special about it.

Here are some pics. (sorry for the low quality)

[attachmentid=1047]

[attachmentid=1048]

[attachmentid=1049]
Attachment: Image
Attachment: Image
Attachment: Image
arekaydee - Thu, 11 Nov 2004 05:20:34 +0530
QUOTE(Madhava @ Nov 10 2004, 07:17 PM)
Found it in the user manual -- 30cm x 25cm x 14cm, weight 7 kg. The dimensions seem reasonable, though certainly not slick, but the weight is a bit of a surprise. Arekaydee, how noisy is this thing?



I think it's a fairly quiet machine. I have it in a rack and shut down my servers momentarily to see (something I can do when everyone goes home). I have a 24 port gigabit switch in the rack next to it that seems to make more noise than the Mirra server does.

Actually half the box is empty, even though it is not big to begin with, about half the size of a standard desktop. The empty space there is a door where a CD/DVD drive would normally go. Definitely an off the shelf box and nothing special about it.

Here are some pics. (sorry for the low quality)

[attachmentid=1047]

[attachmentid=1048]

[attachmentid=1049]
Attachment: Image
Attachment: Image
Attachment: Image
arekaydee - Thu, 11 Nov 2004 05:20:34 +0530
QUOTE(Madhava @ Nov 10 2004, 07:17 PM)
Found it in the user manual -- 30cm x 25cm x 14cm, weight 7 kg. The dimensions seem reasonable, though certainly not slick, but the weight is a bit of a surprise. Arekaydee, how noisy is this thing?



I think it's a fairly quiet machine. I have it in a rack and shut down my servers momentarily to see (something I can do when everyone goes home). I have a 24 port gigabit switch in the rack next to it that seems to make more noise than the Mirra server does.

Actually half the box is empty, even though it is not big to begin with, about half the size of a standard desktop. The empty space there is a door where a CD/DVD drive would normally go. Definitely an off the shelf box and nothing special about it.

Here are some pics. (sorry for the low quality)

[attachmentid=1047]

[attachmentid=1048]

[attachmentid=1049]
Attachment: Image
Attachment: Image
Attachment: Image
arekaydee - Thu, 11 Nov 2004 05:23:21 +0530
And, yes, my ethernet cables are pink. wink.gif