Moka5 Rolls Out Desktop Virtualization Platform

Moka5 officials say they have found a way to make desktop virtualization work for both the business and the end user. Using the MokaFive Suite 2.0 platform, businesses can create a secure virtual desktop image called a LivePC that users download to their systems. With its layered management approach, MokaFive allows those users to then customize their PCs with personalized applications, settings and data without impact on the secure corporate image. Moka5 is looking to gain traction in a space dominated by the likes of VMware and Citrix Systems.

Moka5 officials say the new MokaFive Suite 2.0 platform represents a turning point in desktop virtualization technology.

Moka5 on June 22 announced Version 2.0 of its MokaFive Suite desktop-as-a-service platform, which not only lets businesses deliver a set and secure corporate desktop image to users' desktops, but also lets those users safely customize their desktops with personalized data, settings and applications.

That is a key differentiator between MokaFive and other desktop virtualization products, according to Purnima Padmanabhan, vice president of products at Moka5. Most other offerings let administrators put a corporate image on a PC or laptop and then lock it down, not allowing the users to customize those systems. In addition, those solutions don't work well offline or in a mobile environment, Padmanabhan said in an interview.

"It's not a feasible proposition if you're going to [use desktop virtualization] for a large population," Padmanabhan said. "The moment you lock it down ... you've essentially stifled the very creativity [in employees] you were trying to encourage."

The 4-year-old company is looking to carve out a space in a highly competitive field that includes such virtualization vendors as VMware and Citrix Systems.

With MokaFive, IT administrators centrally create a full virtual desktop-what the company calls a LivePC-and then deliver it to users, who download the virtual desktop via a Web link. Users also can carry it around on a USB stick or a smartphone. The LivePC can run on an Apple Macintosh or on Windows or Linux PCs.

Tasks such as patching and updates are done by the administrators, and the MokaFive platform delivers those to each LivePC.

In what Moka5 officials call a layered approach to desktop virtualization, users can customize their PCs without impact on the corporate image. The layered technology separates the hardware from the operating system and the OS from the applications, and each layer is controlled and managed independently, Padmanabhan said.

"From a user point of view, I get exactly what I need," she said.

Other new capabilities in Version 2.0 include integration with a PC's existing infrastructure, such as Active Directory, and richer policy-based controls that include two-factor authentication. The controls let IT administrators decide the different levels of lockdown for different targeted groups.

In addition, MokaFive makes it easier for users to recover from failures by enabling them to simply restart their LivePCs, Padmanabhan said.