Virtualization Technology News and Information
moka5 Opens Its Virtualization Betagarage Featuring Community-Managed LivePCs

moka5, a personal computing virtualization technology company, announced today the launch of moka5 LivePC BetaGarage(TM). The introduction of a hands-on virtualization beta environment is the first step toward driving the moka5 LivePC(TM) technology to the consumer market. moka5 has leapfrogged the traditional use of virtualization technology, which historically has been a pure enterprise play, by aggressively moving the technology downstream toward consumers and techies who want to invent their own LivePCs. "We see this as the ultimate in hassle-free computing, a notion we call community-managed personal computers. We have hundreds of techies creating LivePCs that you can try safely with a click of a button, without installation or uninstallation headaches," said Monica Lam, Founder and CEO of moka5.

LivePC technology allows a LivePC creator to deliver new PC content to many users instantly and effortlessly. Users simply subscribe to LivePCs they are interested in, just like updating a music play list or changing a TV channel, and the LivePCs are streamed over the network to them. Every time a user brings up a LivePC, it has the latest features provided by the LivePC creator: new software, new data, security patches or even a new operating system. LivePCs can be run on any Windows PC using the free moka5 LivePC Engine(TM). moka5's streaming technology enables users to start running a LivePC long before it has completely downloaded. LivePCs even work when disconnected from the network.

Users can also create their own personal LivePC, share it with friends and run it on different machines. By putting moka5's LivePC Engine on an iPod or a USB drive, users now have a personal, portable LivePC player! They can carry all the LivePCs with them, like their music, and use all these LivePCs on any Windows PC instantly.

The advantages of this technology are readily apparent because it solves real frustrations for consumers: PC management, security and portability. "IT dads" can create and maintain LivePCs for friends and family, eliminating the need for support calls and independently trouble-shooting PCs. If there is an issue, a user simply re-starts the LivePC and the problem instantly disappears. With a LivePC on a USB, companies can easily provide their employees with a secure computing environment that allows them to work from home. Universities can push educational software to students for them to run locally on their own dorm computers or at home.

The moka5 LivePC concept was developed in a 4-year research project at Stanford University. "We should not require a typical computer user to learn what it takes to make computers work or run better. LivePCs address this problem by giving computer-savvy people a new way to share their expertise with many others safely, effortlessly and continuously," said Lam about the motivation for the LivePC research.

"moka5 opened the BetaGarage to limited users including college students and individuals who manage PCs for friends and family. Hundreds of LivePCs were downloaded and created in the days following our beta invitation," added Lam. For example, MIT and Stanford students and researchers are using LivePCs to share their fast-moving research projects with colleagues from other universities. LivePCs make this type of collaboration and real-time sharing easy by separating the software environment from a particular piece of hardware. The moka5 BetaGarage includes dozens of community-contributed LivePCs that allow users to experiment with Linux-based free software easily like Open Office. There are even LivePCs pre-configured with parental control and website blocking that is designed to keep children safe on the web.

The LivePC Engine is built on VMware's best-in-class client virtualization platform, and incorporates VMware Player, the industry's leading desktop virtualization product. Machine-level virtualization, as used by VMware Player, provides significant benefits.

There are no restrictions on applications and even operating systems (Windows, Linux, and even Mac OS X) that you can use in a LivePC. Additionally, a LivePC cannot infect another LivePC or the host computer it is running on, so users can try new LivePCs safely. With the portable LivePC Engine, users can rest assured that they take nothing away, or leave anything behind, on any computer they plug into.

moka5 LivePCs are a radical but obvious departure from how consumers currently interact with their personal PCs. Here are a few of the unique features of LivePCs:

    *Subscription model -- Besides creating their own LivePC, users can run
     community-managed LivePCs available over the web.
    *Always up to date -- Subscribers are kept up to date and protected
     against the latest viruses and other malware.
    *Self healing -- If a user accidentally gets spyware or other malware, a
     reboot of the PC will return the user's environment, applications and
     operating system to their original pristine state, while keeping the
     user's data intact.
    *Online/offline capability -- Once completely downloaded, a LivePC can
     operate even when disconnected from Internet access.
    *Fast, streaming download -- Users can immediately begin working while the
     complete LivePC downloads in the background.
    *Smallest portable PC -- Users can carry one or more LivePCs on a USB
     drive. Personal files on the portable drive are saved in background
     whenever the LivePC is docked at a home base computer.

moka5 invites PC users to log onto and download moka5's free LivePC Engine and build their own LivePC or choose from the Library of LivePCs available. The moka5 LivePC Engine comes in two versions, as a Windows application on a host computer with Windows XP SP2 installed, or as a complete LivePC Linux environment.

Published Wednesday, September 27, 2006 9:52 PM by David Marshall
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