The desktop virtualization space is getting a little more crowded.
On July 30, RingCube Technologies, a startup better known for its consumer software, launched its first suite of desktop virtualization products specifically designed for the enterprise.
With its MojoPac Enterprise Suite, RingCube, of Santa Clara, Calif., is looking to enter a potentially lucrative market—desktop virtualization—that already includes several industry heavyweights, including Microsoft, Citrix Systems, VMware and Parallels.
In a May 8 report, Gartner found while there were only 540,000 virtual machines running at the end of 2006, there could be as many 4 million in place by 2009. While most virtualization technology, so far, has been aimed at the data center, Gartner found that desktop virtualization has more potential for growth than server virtualization, in large part due to the sheer number of PCs being used worldwide.
The MojoPac Enterprise Suite stores an employees desktop applications, settings and files, as well as security information, onto almost any USB device or remote hard disk drive.
The stored information and RingCube software can then be used with any Windows XP or Vista desktop or laptop, said Shan Appajodu, CEO and co-founder of RingCube. The company does not currently offer products that work with Linux desktop operating systems.
In an interview, Appajodu said the MojoPac suite was not meant as a substitute for hypervisor technology, but that it could be used as a complimentary product with other offerings from VMware and Microsoft, for example. The products themselves have been designed for companies with employees that work from home, enterprises with a large sales force that travels constantly or executives who buy and use their own PCs.
MojoPack works with the operating system to create an isolated environment on a desktop or laptop, but unlike traditional virtualization technology, it does not partition the machine to create two operating environments running at the same time. The advantage, said Appajodu, is that companies do not have to worry about licensing agreements with vendors, such as Microsoft.
The software suite only uses about 30MB of RAM, which helps preserve PC performance. The MojoPack can also be fully encrypted to provide additional security.
Rob Enderle, an analyst with the Enderle Group, said RingCubes desktop virtualization software has several advantages compared to some of the other software suites available now. One advantage is that the MojoPack uses little memory and leaves the PCs performance in tact.
The other advantages are the suites cost and the fact that enterprises do not need to be concerned about licensing agreements with Microsoft.
One drawback to the technology, Enderle said, is that since RingCube is a small startup, its hard to get its message and products out into mass circulation.
That could change if the company is acquired by a larger IT vendor that sees the potential in the software, Enderle said. If RingCube is bought, it could open up the technology to several specific vertical markets, such as federal and state governments.
"Something like this [MojoPack] is very attractive to enterprises and its probably best supplied through a vendor with an established channel so that they can get into the hands of more customers and work through the government bureaucracies," he said.
RingCubes suite comes in three different versions. The MojoStation is designed for employees who work from home, the MojoDrive is geared toward workers who are on the road and MojoNet is meant for use within the office.
As of July 30, MojoStation is available for a starting price of $49 per license, while the MojoDrive is $99 per license. The MojoNet product will be available in the next two to three months and RingCube has not set a price for the software as of yet.