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Storage

Seagate buys storage company Mirra

Looks to develop a box that'll let people access their home and small-office content from any Internet-connected PC.

Storage device maker Seagate Technology has acquired Mirra in an effort to develop a box that'll let people access their home and small-office content from any Internet-connected PC.

Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed in the acquisition announcement on Wednesday. Server maker Mirra now becomes a wholly owned subsidiary of Seagate. All 34 people at Mirra are expected to stay onboard at the company's offices, Mirra CEO Tom Shea said.

Mirra, a start-up out of Sunnyvale, Calif., makes a personal server that continuously and automatically backs up files, photos and other digital content from multiple devices. The included software and free service then secures the content and makes the file accessible through a standard Web browser.

"If you had three years' worth of digital photos on your network, you could share those with your mother in another state. All she would need to access the content is a special password and a Web browser," Seagate executive vice president Brian Dexheimer said.

The two companies are no strangers. Dexheimer said Mirra's products are based on Seagate storage. Mirra's Personal Server can back up as much as 400GB of data from multiple PCs and is priced at about $800.

Shea welcomed the acquisition, saying his company had many items on its to-do list but was very busy juggling development while working with retail partners such as Best Buy, Amazon.com, CompUSA.com and Dell.com.

"Mirra tried to stay focused on our core storage business, but we recognized the value of protected content made for a very interesting proposition. Customers said they wanted to make sure content----was available whether they were on a home network or in a hotel room."

Dexheimer called the purchase a "logical extension" of Seagate's current products, which have been limited to backup storage devices that are attached to a PC through a USB or FireWire cable.

Recently, Scotts Valley, Calif.-based Seagate has been planning a product push beyond its bread-and-butter hard disk drive business. During the company's analyst day in June, executives said Seagate is looking at making hard drives for digital televisions and cell phones starting in 2008.