A company that has helped workers circumvent their IT Departments turned enterprise-friendly today with the launch of a new suite of products.
For anyone who has loaded programs such as Firefox and Skype onto a USB memory stick to run on locked-down work PCs, RingCube uses virtualisation techniques to give you the same solution, but on steroids.
Its MojoPac software, launched almost a year ago, has won several awards. Shan Appajodu, chief executive of the Silicon Valley company, gave me a demonstration of its capabilities running it from a 40Gb Soyo drive plugged into the USB port of a computer that had a basic Windows XP installation.
The Mojopac software was installed on the external drive and created a virtual Windows desktop, on which appeared any programs installed on the drive, including video games that performed without any noticeable lag.
It enables anyone to take their familiar Windows environment, including programs, wallpaper and other settings, on the road and operate on it from any plain vanilla PC with a USB port.
This might concern IT departments whose rogue workers represent a security risk running unauthorised software. But Mr Appajodu says his enterprise suite represents a new paradigm for provisioning and supporting desktops and is a secure solution.
It consists of MojoStation, MojoDrive and MojoNet. MojoStation is a secured MojoPac image of a corporate desktop environment that workers can download from their company’s website and run on their computers at home or in the field, as if they were sitting at their PCs at work.
MojoDrive is a drive with the software, which can be built by IT staff to recreate the corporate desktop. MojoNet offers MojoPac over a secure corporate network, with offline and synchronisation capabilities.
RingCube says its solution has advantages over other virtualisation software, such as provided by Citrix and VMWare, because of its low-cost, small (30 megabyte) footprint, high performance and offline capability.
It also represents the next level compared to services such as Sandisk’s U3 software on USB sticks, which the company is phasing out. However, RingCube could face competition from a successor service being worked on by Sandisk and Microsoft, due in the second half of 2008.
In the meantime, RingCube would do well to partner with storage manufacturers on appealing combinations of its software with external devices. Mr Appajodu says he was initially rebuffed by the hard-drive makers, but they are now showing renewed interest.
Whether it’s the consumer or enterprise version of MojoPac that interests you, RingCube’s solution represents one of the simplest and most practical applications to date in the hot space of virtualisation.