back to article MokaFive outs bare-metal PC hypervisor

Disappointed with the ridiculously skinny PC coverage offered by the XenClient bare-metal hypervisor just announced by Citrix Systems? Annoyed that VMware took its Client Virtualization Platform, also a so-called type 1 hypervisor for PCs, out behind the barn and gave it the Old Yeller? Then MokaFive is cooking up something you …


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Not even QNX, or eCOS/redboot, or whatever. Linux.

Not that I don't like Linux, but I don't like green being described as red simply because PHBs are known to be 98% red/green colourblind.

Suddenly something reliant on and running on Linux can be described as "bare metal". Howcome? Oh, it's IT, usual engineering rules re truth in technology don't apply here, usual competence rules don't apply here either.

Yet more snake oil.

Mind you, at least this one sounds like interesting and relevant snake oil. I wonder if they're recruiting.


Picture please, answers too.

I've read the article several times and am still not sure what's being described. A picture would probably be helpful.

What I *think* is being described is

the bare metal (not TM) hardware runs a (hidden subset of a) common widely known Linux which is available for free.

Hidden Linux runs VMware Player (available for free) and some added value "management apps" e.g. the MokaFive Console (this management layer is laughably called BareMetal (tm)).

VMware Player runs the end user OS (probably not free).

I am reasonably familiar with VMware Player; I use it full time at work because various aspects of the work I do need Linux, and the Church of the Subgenius disciples in the IT department refuse to acknowledge the existence of Linux other than to ban it whenever they see it.

Anyway, to more general questions related to GPL in this picture, and one on the overall economics.

How much of the software in this picture would *need* to be GPL'd in addition to the already GPL'd GNU/Linux stuff?

How much of this picture could be used to justify $150/year per desktop at the level of hundreds of desktops, when the ingredients are largely already GPL'd ?

Why is this scheme costing $300-500 over the life of a desktop PC better than paying a one off $100 or so extra per desktop each time desktops are renewed to get a corporate-class PC with a long-lifecycle common build where the vendor guarantees to maintain compatibility for two or three years, rather than the usual bargain-basement PC which changes incompatibly every six months? Or do Intel/HP/Compaq/Dell no longer do this kind of thing for corporate desktops?

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Questions I'm pondering here as well.

Except for the fact that I'd peg it as $450 to $750 (three to five, if not in some cases more, PC lifetime), those are similar to the points I'm wondering about. I've been using VMWare player since its first appearance in beta for exactly just such a purpose, especially for a browser appliance. Go ahead and hack it, I don't care, it'll get destroyed at the end of the session. [Actually I have been doing such, as well as server virtualization, since VMWare 1.3.0.] The only secret sauce I can see here is the deduplicated block updates to the server-side image although that is achievable using other, proprietary for the most part, tools as well. Come to think of it, there are at least one OS and one virtual appliance that come immediately to mind that have such a capability built-in. I guess you are paying for the system integration. Still interesting though.

One more observation. Keep in mind deferred application update costs (think XP mode, among may others) and extension of hardware life in limited cases. That alone might justify the price tag, speaking from a holistic IT perspective.


maybe just tinplated

or turkey foil . opps

Gilded Linux mmmm good name (c) 8.07pm PT sept 02 2010

Galvanized VM mmmm BTW MokaFive if you read this that's the name to use.



The real benefit of MokaFive is not in just the "bare-metal" VMware Player on stripped down Linux. It is in the VM synchronization with a back-end server. Pick a cubical, any cubical, login on the supplied VM terminal and there is your desktop in your individual VM. Then when you go on a business trip or simply need to work remotely, IT supplies you with a laptop (or you supply your personal), you login to the MokaFive/VMware Player and your work VM is automatically synchronized to it. While you're on the plane or during Internet service interruption it still works (unlike with a standard remote VM). When you have Internet access any changes are automatically synchronized to the backend server. If your laptop is ever lost or stolen, the encrypted VM is inaccessible to the new "owner" and can be blasted remotely. You, on the other hand, simply acquire a new laptop (or an available terminal), login and your personal VM is instantly available.

Anonymous Coward

"VM synchronization with a back-end server. "

Let's take the "mobile worker" topic a bit further.

I did that kind of thing over a decade ago, working from whichever desk in whichever office (or home) I happened to be in on the day. It can be a nice way to work, it certainly was for me, but there are non-technical reasons why it didn't really catch on, at least in Blighty.

I could in principle be a "mobile worker" again today, and be far more productive than I am chained to a desk in an inappropriate environment in an inappropriate building with inappropriate IT services , but sadly many managers seem to feel exposed if they cannot see their staff chained to their usual torture stations during mandatory working hours (or preferably more). It seems that this applies regardless of any possible impact on morale or even on productivity.

So, afaict the technology is not the main issue on the "mobile worker" front. Not in the UK anyway.

Be nice to see those attitudes change, though. Mobile/flexible working isn't for every employer or every employee, but where it works well it's marvellous.

So put all that to one side, and try a simpler less controversial setup. Let's try a "call centre" or other admin-factory setup. A couple of hundred identical cubicles with any worker using any one of them, and they all have compatible (not identical) PCs. MS would claim roaming profiles etc already does that as part of the existing MS infrastructure. What does MokaFive add that's worth a quarter of a million dollars a year?

Looking for a USP, not seeing it yet.



While I'm pretty sure you wouldn't pay nearly full price for large quantity purchases, what MokaFive offers is not really a call-center or factory setup advantage. VMware and others already offer the central desktop VM infrastructure described. While there are distinct game-changing advantages to centralizing desktops on VMs that roaming profiles can't even touch (centrally administered individualized hardware independent OS, independent individualized registry, applications and app settings, etc. - think 'individual PCs without the hardware driver dependencies and reconfiguration time'), MokaFive allows those advantages to go on-the road (remote working and business trips) by synchronizing the centralized VM to a VMware Player on a portable PC.

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