MokaFive is an image and virtual desktop management platform that's a VDI 'crossover' product for mobile desktop use. MokaFive is VDI that's up-close-and-personal because it's downloaded or distributed as an image directly to a Windows PC or Mac and lives not on a VM server, but inside the client Windows PC or Mac workstation.

The image might be permanent, and it might go away after a single use or at the discretion of an administrator. There's no server hypervisor or connection brokering gateway to live with. It's all in the download.

MokaFive can be installed onto a Windows 2003 Server machine and can be used in a VDI platform (such as VMware ESX), although it's not necessary to use a hypervisor platform at all.

MokaFive is all about the LivePC image, which can be created from scratch, or converted from VMware images — although we found this was tough to make work and it created huge images. LivePC Creator and Player are used on the client side. Creator builds the image, and Player is used to connect the LivePC image (the image is actually downloaded to a user's machine before first use).

Creator is typically for admins only, but it could be for non-admins if the MokaFive admin lets other users create VMs. The created VMs are stored on the MokaFive server, but it's possible to add more Image Store locations by installing them on another machine.

The LivePC image that is initially created with MokaFive's Creator is downloaded or otherwise distributed to users through the MokaFive player application. The MokaFive Player contacts the MokaFive server for login, policy control and updates, but can also be used in an offline mode using cached credentials. Policy controls can be embedded in the LivePC image to do things such as "Retain user apps after image restarts", "Allow automatic sign on", "Allow drag and drop between guest and host", and "Access to USB drive" as examples.

In order to actually download the image, you must login with your username on the MokaFive Server's website and "subscribe" to your LivePC.

In either online or offline mode, the question of responsiveness of the session is moot, as it's executing in the client's hardware. This also means that sparse, lightweight Windows XP images can use less space to execute, and so we recommend stripping images to barebones before building a LivePC image. Otherwise it will take forever to download a new image if you work from home or have a slow connection.

OUR VERDICT

The MokaFive method is very lightweight, although it needs certain VMware pieces to make it work. Virtualisation hypervisor server hosts are moot, because images execute as hypervised guests, yet can be updated from the MokaFive 'mothership' or just used in 'offline' mode until the next available server connection method is available. It's VDI, but with a twist.